QE2 News / QE2 in Dubai / QE2 Today
Updated on November 24th 2013 by Rob Lightbody
QE2 today is still mostly intact but is laid up, afloat, within the Dubai Dry Docks World facility after 5 years in Dubai. Her future is very much in doubt as various parties struggle to secure a future for her.
The story since arriving in Dubai...
QE2 was handed over to her new owners,
Istithmar, at Port Rashid
in Dubai on November 27th, 2008. At the time it was expected
that within days, she would go into Dubai Dry Dock for a 3 year
radical rebuild. However the
global recession had knock-on
effects for big projects all over the world, including Dubai's
QE2 project. Dubai had bigger problems, and bigger projects to
fund and finish first. It also no longer needed the hotel rooms
that QE2 was intended to provide...
The plan that wasn't to be. QE2 at a dedicated part of the Palm
The world watches and waits... (2008 - 2012)
As the months passed and rumours came and went, QE2 continued
to sit where her final passengers had left her and her
engines were still running. Cruise ships came
and went, docking near her, their passengers often
unaware of what ship that sleek looking one was.
Her former fleet-mates QM2 and QV visited during their world cruises and the new Queen Elizabeth also visited her namesake - and QE2 forlornly blew blasts on her mighty whistle to them all in turn to say hello, and then to say goodbye...
What little news there was during this time, came almost exclusively from The QE2 Story through our growing network of contacts.
In summer 2009, the ship was drydocked and prepared to sail under her own power to South Africa - a plan which sadly fell through at the last minute.
For 4 years, she was maintained by an expert V-Ships crew of around 40 who lived on board. She received essential maintenance and one of her nine giant diesel engines was always running. This provided power for lighting, air-conditioning, fire & other safety systems.
By day, many passengers on other ships thought she was simply on a cruise visiting the port. At night, all her lights were seen to be on and she looked ready to set off on another cruise. Only the absence of the CUNARD logo from her sides, and the absence of passengers on her decks, told you another story.
April 2011 - QE2 Story visits & Documents QE2
In April 2011, Rob Lightbody of TheQE2Story.com gained exclusive access to the ship, spending a few days on board with access to all areas, and extensively documented her condition. You can see his photos here and his videos here. Rob's visit hit the headlines including being featured on BBC TV News - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13265118. Rob's photos and videos document the condition of the ship between 2009 and the end of 2012.
2013 and beyond...
In December 2012, everything changed.
were abruptly asked to leave, with her live-aboard crew given
just days notice after spending years aboard looking
These photos show the condition they left her in.
At this point a project called 'QE2 London' revealed themselves, having previously been operating in secrecy. This website embraced this plan as sounding absolutely ideal for this British Icon.
QE2s London's Plan
Dubai Dry Docks World,
another company within the Dubai World group, took control of the ship, and a crew from
Oceanic Group was placed aboard with
no handover from V-ships.
The ship's warm lay-up period ended, and after a
brief dry docking
in January, the ship was laid up, afloat, within the Dry Docks
facility of Port Rashid.
Ambitions plans were announced to relocate QE2 to Asia to become a floating hotel including bringing her propulsion back online so that she can make the journey under her own power, however as of October 2013, no firm location, operator or finances were announced, and no significant work is confirmed to have been carried out.
Her future is still very much in doubt.
The ship has been without power for months, her interiors are
inevetibly deteriorating in the Dubai heat and humidity without
So once again, the world watches and waits to see what will happen to the Greatest Ship in the World. Keep an eye on the forum for all the latest breaking news.