JULY 7, 2013 — The legendary cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 is currently in Dubai Drydocks undergoing extensive preparatory work prior to sailing under her own power to a Chinese shipyard that will transform her into a luxurious all-suites hotel. She is to be moored at Dubai's Palm Jumeirah artificial island development.
Today, Drydocks World Chairman Khamis Juma Buamim addressed a a gathering of dignitaries to provide an update on the QE2. He did so in a new role, that of Chairman of QE2 Shipping LLC, Dubai & QE2 Holding Pte Limited, Singapore.
Ownership of the vessel has now been transfered to QE2 Shipping LLC and she has been brought back into Lloyd's Register by teams from Drydocks World and Singapore's Oceanic Group, which have provided an on board crew of 32. The first two phases of the project began with an overall check and work scope identification which was essential for the vessel after a long lay by. Activities that followed included hull and structural checks, steel repairs and renewals, ballast tank, air conditioning, sea suction and cooling system inspections, pumping out, cleaning and steel renewal in deep tanks, overhauling of stabilizers and bow thrusters, cleaning of diesel oil tanks, sewage tanks and other tanks & safety checks, repairs and upgrades.
Overhauling of the engines is now well underway.
A number of Chinese shipyards (Rong Sheng, Cosco, China Merchant and China Shipping) have been invited to Dubai for ship inspection and technical teams are now finalizing and preparing the work scope based on these required inspections and reviews of the ship. A press conference will be held in Shanghai, sometime towards mid August, to officially announce which shipyard has been selected for the renovation and transformation of the vessel.
A number of international concept designer houses including Benoy, Francis Leung of Hong Kong, Ong & Ong, Wilson Associates and Jeday Associates have been invited to submit their plans for the interior. Some changes will be made to the original plans and it has been decided that the QE2 will be an all suite hotel with suite sizes varying between 60 and 150 square meters. Some larger suites are intended for long stay residences.
Memorabilia will be removed from the vessel and shipped to Singapore and stored in a specially secured warehouse. These will then be reassembled after renovation of the vessel is completed and the curation process of placement in the ship will begin in line with the interior and concept designs.
A tentative date has been set for a gala sail off party in Dubai to bid farewell to the QE2 on October 18. She is then expected to reach Singapore on Nov 1 where she will stay for three days before proceeding to Hong Kong for another three days before leaving for the selected conversion yard.