Hampshire & Isle of Wight

QE2 to host New Year's Eve party in Dubai

QE2

The QE2 is to have passengers on board for the first time since its final cruise from Hampshire three years ago.

Sold for £50m to the United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel, the former liner left Southampton for the last time on 11 November 2008.

Plans to convert the ship into a floating hotel and entertainment centre off Dubai's man-made islands came to nothing after the economic downturn.

It is now set to host a New Year's Eve party from Port Rashid in Dubai.

Global Event Management is organising the party which is billed as "exclusive" and is "strictly by invitation only", according to a spokeswoman from the company.

The 293.5m (963ft) long former Cunard flagship carried almost 2.5 million passengers and completed more than 800 Atlantic crossings following its launch in 1967.

The ship is being kept in the inner harbour in Port Rashid after plans to convert it into a 200-room hotel at Palm Jumeirah resort were put on hold in 2009.

Its long-term future remains uncertain.

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