[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
QE2 set to become floating hotel
The QE2 in Southampton

Dubai is to buy the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship for $100m (50.5m) and turn it into a floating hotel off the Gulf emirate's man-made islands.

The 70,000-tonne vessel, launched by the Queen in 1967, is to be sold to the Dubai World firm by Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator.

Dubai government-owned real-estate developer Nakheel is building three palm-frond shaped isles off its coast.

The ship will be berthed from 2009 at a pier at the Palm Jumeirah development.

'Maritime nation'

Dubai World, whose investment arm Istithmar has made the purchase.

Istithmar hopes to recreate the QE2's original interior decor and fittings, and to establish a museum charting the ship's history.

Dubai World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: "Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2.

"She is coming to a home where she will be cherished."

The ship came into service in 1969 and has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times, carrying more than 2.5 million passengers, Istithmar said.

Maiden voyage

Built at the John Brown shipyard on the Clyde in Scotland, the ship was known only as "Job number 736" until she was officially launched by the Queen in September 1967.

The famous liner is 963ft long, 105ft wide and can carry as many as 1,778 passengers and more than 1,000 crew.

Her first captain was Bill Warwick, who took her on her maiden voyage to Las Palmas, setting off on 22 April, 1969.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes of the QE2 around the world



SEE ALSO
Busy cruising weekend for island
27 May 07 |  Guernsey
Royal liners in Sydney rendezvous
20 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Search for missing QE2 passenger
02 Jan 07 |  Hampshire
Court of Appeal backs P&O's sale
06 Mar 06 |  Business



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific