(DUBAI, UAE) - Perhaps the most famous ocean liner in the world is on her way to a permanent home at Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai's famous artificial islands, to begin a new life as an ultra luxury hotel.
When QE2 arrives tomorrow afternoon local time, she will be greeted by a flotilla of small boats, a Royal Navy frigate, and the yacht of Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed Al Maktoum. An Emirates Airlines A-380 super jumbo double decker jet will perform a special flyover.
QE2 was bought last year by Dubai World, parent company of Nakheel, developer of Palm Jumeirah. The ship is due to be refurbished and start a new life as a hotel anchoring an exclusive residential, marina, entertainment, and hospitality district on the series of islands in the shape of a palm trunk and leaves or fronds.
Manfred Ursprunger, CEO of QE2 Enterprises, Nakheel Hotels, said, "The investment Nakheel will be making in the QE2 will ensure that she continues to be a beacon of sophistication for generations to come and maintains her rich heritage and iconic stature."
He added, "We are proud to be the custodian of such a magnificent British icon and will utilize our resources to maintain the integrity and spirit of QE2, as envisioned by her original design team led by Dennis Lennon, and usher in the next exciting chapter of her rich and dignified life."
QE2 has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and circumnavigated the world 25 times. More than 2.5 million passengers have sailed on QE2 including many dignitaries and royalty. The ship has also been featured in films, TV shows, and documentaries and is familiar to millions who have never been aboard.