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QE2 ship to be converted into a luxury hotel

The famous QE2 cruise liner is to leave Dubai on Oct. 18 for China to be converted into a luxury hotel. The conversion of the vessel into a 400-suite hotel will cost $ 90 million (Dh 330m), and be completed by 2014.
Khamis Juma Buamin, chairman of Dubai shipyard operator Drydocks World, told a press conference yesterday that the liner is undergoing upgrades in Dubai before the planned departure.
After streaming out of Dubai, the ship is expected to reach Singapore on Nov. 1 where she will stay for three days before proceeding to Hong Kong for another three days and thereafter leave for the selected shipyard in China, the liner owner said in a statement.
“The QE2 will be owned by a consortium of investors under a Dubai-based entity called QE2 Shipping,” Buamin said, adding, “This is a piece of history. We are going to deliver the project in a timely manner.”
“Our overall plans for the QE2 are well on track. We have surmounted all the challenges turning them into opportunities. Dubai owns the QE2 and will never sell it,” said Buamin dismissing media reports that the ship would be sold to foreign investors. Istithmar World, a subsidiary of Dubai World, had purchased the 293-meter long liner from Cunard for nearly $ 100 million in June 2007. Since then the vessel has been docked in Dubai. In January this year Dubai announced its decision to move the ship to an Asian country where it would become a floating hotel.
Before being retired, the QE2 took regular cruises around the world. It carried 2.5 million passengers, sailed nearly six million miles and completed 806 trans-Atlantic crossings during 39 years of service for Cunard.