The iconic former Cunarder the QE2 is set to be broken up and sold for scrap metal to the Chinese for £20 million by the current owners the cash hungry Dubai World .
This development follows the failure of a project to bring it back to the famous cruise liner back to Britain as a five-star floating hotel, an idea originally floated on this blogsite CDUCK News
The iconic ocean liner - which also served as a troop carrier during the Falklands War - has been docked in a commercial port in Dubai since it was sold for £100m in 2008. The London bid had the verbal support of Chancellor George Osbourne, and London Mayor Boris Johnson
The cash strapped Dubai World organisation had originally planned to convert the QE2 into a luxury hotel at the tip of the man made Palm Jumeirah island. But after years of frenetic spending Dubai World had to be finalcially bailed out and the liner has remained docked in less exotic Port Rashid for the last five years clocking up running costs of £650,000 a month.
Earlier this month, a British consortium presented Dubai with a £70m bid to bring the QE2 to London and convert into a five star hotel moored opposite the O2 Arena. The QE2 London bid had the support of George Osborne and Boris Johnson and claimed it could have brought up to 2,000 jobs to London. But the proposal didn't have the active support of the Labour opposition and other sections of the coalition. A Chinese crew of around 20 is said to have boarded the vessel QE2 at Port Rashid last Friday, leading to fears it has already been sold as scrap \and would be discreetly moved during the winter holiday season.
Roger Murray of the QE2 London is reported to have said: ‘We have been told the ship is going to be put into a dry dock before being taken to an unknown destination in the far east. Our investors were set to give £20m for the ship itself plus £60m for renovation and the cost of bringing the ship back to Britain. But the ship could raise as much as £20m as dead weight scrap and the Chinese cash would be immediate.’
When Istithmar – part of the state conglomerate Dubai World - bought the QE2 from Cunard in 2007 it agreed it would not sell it on for at least ten years. But a source close to Dubai World said he believed ‘a contract modification could be agreed’ allowing it to be sold on for scrap.
Contributor: Media Expert, Aviation, Politics & Travel Commentator, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 01733 555319) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK