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Dubai and the QE2

June 8th, 2015 · No Comments · Dubai, Hong Kong, The National, Travel, UAE

Turns out, the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner has been docked in Dubai’s port since we arrived in the UAE, nearly six years ago.

Turns out, I compiled more than a few news/travel briefs pertaining to the QE2 and its “final” voyage to Dubai while working at the International Herald Tribune’s Hong Kong bureau in late 2008.

And I never made the connection between the ship that we followed at the IHT … and the ship parked up the road at Dubai.

Until today, when I saw a story in The National about options for the ship, going forward … and perhaps it being towed back to Britain.

When I was compiling travel briefs, back in 2008, I was only vaguely aware of Dubai.

It was better-known, then as now, in Europe. As a travel destination during the European winter and as a rising real-estate market, too.

At the end of 2008, when the QE2 was sold by the Carnival cruise line to Dubai World, the plan was to park the boat in the port of Dubai and turn it into a hotel.

(Which is a concept I understand, having grown up in Long Beach, where the Queen Mary has been docked for decades, usually not making money.)

However, not long after the QE2 arrived in Dubai, the global recession came down hard and the liner … just kinda sat there, and is sitting still.

Dubai seems to have lost interest in the boat, which is not getting any younger, and groups in Britain seem vaguely interested in purchasing the famous ship and taking it back to, say, London. Or even to Scotland, where the QE2 was built 50 years ago. But it would cost a lot of money to buy it, tow it and refurbish it.

So, there’s the update on the QE2. In Dubai. As I could have told you when I was in Hong Kong. But promptly forgot even before landing on UAE shores. Less than a year later.

It all makes sense.


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