Will the famous liner become a hotel?
Will the famous liner become a hotel?

Will the famous liner become a hotel?

The famous liner Queen Elizabeth 2, which fate has long been uncertain, seems to have received the second birth, this time as a hotel. Queen Elizabeth 2 will not longer operate any sea cruises.

Currently the liner is moored at the Port Rashid in Dubai. Its owner, Istithmar, bought the ship in 2007 from the Cunard cruise ship company for $100 million. Queen Elizabeth 2 was planned to be converted into a luxury hotel to serve tourists in Dubai. However, the financial crisis has forced the new owner to abandon the ambitious intentions for the better times.

And now it seems that better times returned. Investor announced about resuming the plans for creating a hotel from the legendary ship. However, if the first version of the modernization supposed turning the ship into the hotel for 1000 rooms, the new project includes only 300 rooms.

According to the Istithmar head Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, initially it was decided to completely change the image of the liner in order to breathe new life into it. However, it later became clear that the tourists prefer to see the old Queen Elizabeth 2 and not a fancy tourist attraction.

Istithmar has no plans to transport the ship from the port of Port Rashid to the Dubai coast and the famous Palm Island. Following the well-known Arab proverb the initiators of the project decided to bring the Mohammed to the mountain. The Port Rashid, which today is primarily a trading port, will be converted into a tourist hub. Renovated hotel-liner Queen Elizabeth 2 will be one of its main attractions.

As for the terms, converting of Queen Elizabeth 2 ship into the hotel is expected to take eighteen months. Presentation of the new hotel in Dubai is expected in late 2013. Jumeirah Group, the famous UAE hotel holding company could become the operator of the new hotel. Currently Istithmar is negotiating with three hotel groups.

Ilya Kalachev

Date: 08/07/2012


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