Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 16:13 UK

QE2 put in dry dock ahead of move

The QE2 in the dry dock in Dubai
The QE2's underwater hull was shot blasted and repainted

The QE2 has been transferred to a dry dock in Dubai for checks and a respray, ahead of her possible move to Cape Town in South Africa.

Cunard sold the Southampton-based liner for £50m to the United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel.

Nakheel is in final talks to move the ship to Cape Town to become a hotel in time for the 2010 football World Cup.

The ship moved to the dry dock in July for marine surveys in compliance with international standards.

'Plumbing overhaul'

A Nakheel spokesman said: "As part of the process, the ship's underwater hull was shot blasted and repainted.

"Her main dark grey hull, white sides, and iconic red and black funnel also received a fresh coat of paint and her propellers were polished.

"Internal works included an overhaul of her air-conditioning and plumbing systems.

The luxury Palm Jumeirah project
Plans for the QE2 to be the centrepiece of the luxury palm island are on hold

"QE2 is still at Drydocks World-Dubai to allow the remainder of her survey work to be completed."

Nakheel had planned to refurbish the ship and open it as a floating hotel in Dubai but that has been put on hold.

The QE2 will now go to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, where there is a shortage of hotel rooms.

Nakheel, which has a financial interest in the South African port, said the ship would be staying in Cape Town for 18 months.

Paul Clifton, BBC South's transport correspondent, said the ship was expected to be moved to South Africa under its own power, but the sale contract with Cunard meant it could not carry passengers as a cruise ship.

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