QE2 to be renovated as 'floating hotel'
The QE2 is to be renovated as a luxury floating hotel, its owners have said.
The consortium which owns the ship said it would be moved to a dry dock in Dubai to be converted into a five-star, 500-room hotel.
It said there were plans for an unnamed Asian city to be the first destination for the hotel.
Sold for £50m to the United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel, the 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 in 2009 came to nothing after the economic downturn.Michelin-starred restaurants
The ship is being kept in the inner harbour in Port Rashid.
Daniel Chui, of Oceanic Group, which is advising the consortium, said: "We are going to lavish many millions of dollars on this magnificent ship to restore her to the splendour of her glory days as an icon of the very best the world has to offer."
Today's statements about a bright future for the world's most famous liner raise far more questions than they answer.
The ship was built on Clydebank in the 1960s to a standard far removed from what premium hotel guests expect today. So the sums involved to re-configure the ship will be huge.
Where will that money come from? - the identities are not revealed. Where will the liner go? Why can't these unknown investors name the port? Is the deal not done?
QE2's legions of fans all over the world will be delighted to learn that the ship is not about to be scrapped.
But is there any more certainty now about what exactly will become of this ship? No.
He said a "an international tourist city in the Far-East" had been "firmed up" as its destination.
Plans for the refurbishment include adding a shopping centre, three Michelin-starred restaurants and a maritime museum.
BBC South transport correspondent Paul Clifton said the move to a dry dock was essential as the ship had not had its underside scraped clean for more than three years.
"We've been here before. When Dubai bought the ship in November 2008, it planned to slice off the funnel and replace it with a glass penthouse.
"The idea never got off the ground. QE2 has stood idle in Port Rashid ever since.
"A plan to send her to South Africa for the World Cup came to nothing.
"A plan to take her to Macau as a casino also failed.
"There have been persistent rumours that the ship would be scrapped - all denied.
"But we know scrapyards were contacted for the purpose of getting a price," he said.
Under the original sale to Dubai, former owner Cunard had a veto over any change of use to the liner.
In a statement the company said: "Cunard Line is pleased that Dubai are progressing their plans to develop the QE2.
"We ensured the ship had a very successful last year in 2008 with an appropriate send-off as she left the Cunard fleet, and it is very good news that Dubai are announcing further developments to preserve the ship for the future."
The 293.5m (963ft) long former Cunard flagship carried almost 2.5 million passengers and completed more than 800 Atlantic crossings following its launch from the John Brown Shipyard in Clydebank in 1967.