Thursday, November 13, 2008

QE Too tacky

The QE2 has left her home port of Southampton headed for Dubai where she'll be converted into a hotel moored at Palm Jumeirah.

Here's what was said when the announcement was made:

The company had given the impression last June, when announcing the deal, that the QE2’s heritage would be preserved. Carol Marlow, Cunard’s president, said then: “There will continue to be a permanent home for her that will enable future generations to continue to experience fully both the ship and her history.”

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Dubai World’s chairman, said at the time: “Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished.”

And here's a computer-generated image issued some time ago of how she would look:

But this is Dubai, so I tend to believe yesterday's report in The Times of what's really going to happen.

QE2 to be ripped up for new life as a Dubai floating hotel.

Little of the interior of the QE2 will be preserved and her famous silhouette will be altered by the removal of the funnel. In its place will be a tall glass funnel-shaped structure containing luxury suites. The old funnel is likely to be taken ashore to become part of a grand entrance to the ship.

The giant engine room, which many QE2 enthusiasts had hoped would be preserved and opened to the public, will become an entertainment complex.

Almost all the 1,000 cabins will be ripped out and larger hotel rooms fitted in their place.

The lifeboats suspended along the open deck will be removed.

Dubai World has signed a gagging agreement with Cunard but has had a team on board for months drawing up plans for the two-year refurbishment, which will cost more than it paid for the ship.

Another opportunity lost in the pursuit of tackiness.

The Times story is here.


nzm said...

Isn't it disgusting?

I love that ship and to read about these plans makes me feel sick and angry.

The Queen Mary which now lies at Long Beach in California was lovingly restored as well as fitted out as a hotel with no outward loss of appearance.

The QE2 project reflects all that is bad about Dubai's taste.

It makes me very concerned about what's going to happen to all those fabulous paintings and artifacts that were bought along with the ship.

Mealone said...

I lived in Dubai and in a previous life sailed on the old Queen Mary. I recently paid her a visit in Long Beach. I was disappointed to see how she had deteriorated since my previous visit. Being on board was a "seedy" experience. Far from being "lovingly restored", the QM had most of her insides ripped out to make way for Maritime Museum which never happened. Most of her fixtures and fittings were sold. It is a fact of life that ships get old and deteriorate unless they have constant maintenance - a costly business. The engine room is not original. QE2 original design was for two boilers and steam turbines. That soon proved to be a disaster and the steam plant was replaced by a number of diesel engines - not the most romantic of engine rooms.
I think DP World have taken on a massive task to turn the QE2 into a viable long term operation. I wish them luck and hope they can deal with the headaches to come.

Anonymous said...

"The engine room is not original. QE2 original design was for two boilers and steam turbines"

That is incorrect. The original configuration was THREE boilers and two steam turbines.