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|QE2 To Leave Cunard Fleet And Be Sold To Dubai World To Begin A New Life At The Palm |
|June 18, 2007 |
Cunard Line today announced the sale of QE2 to Dubai World, in a US$100 million deal which will turn the iconic liner into a first-class tourism destination at The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
QE2 will be delivered to Dubai World in November 2008, where she will cease her role as an ocean-going passenger vessel and be refurbished and adapted for her new home. From 2009, the vessel will be berthed at a specially-constructed pier to create a luxury floating hotel, retail and entertainment destination at The Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island.
The ship, which was launched by Her Majesty The Queen in September 1967, 40 years ago this year, is the longest-serving ship in Cunard's 168-year history, and was their longest-serving flagship. Since she came into service in 1969, she has undertaken 25 world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
QE2 has been purchased by Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. Nakheel, developer of The Palm Jumeirah, is also a Dubai World company.
Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard, said:
"We are delighted that when her legendary career as an ocean liner ends 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, chairman of Dubai World, said:
"QE2 is without a doubt one of the wonders of the maritime world, and is easily the most famous serving liner in the world today. I am delighted we will be able to create a home for her on the newest wonder of the world, The Palm Jumeirah."
"QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will become one of the must-see experiences of Dubai and of the Middle East. We are investing in creating a truly global tourism destination."
"Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished."
Istithmar said its refurbishment programme will aim to recreate QE2's original interior décor and fittings. QE2 at The Palm Jumeirah will also include a museum celebrating the rich history of the ship.
The Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah is currently the world's largest man-made island and home to a residential, tourism and leisure destination created by Nakheel. The Palm Jumeirah is a landmark in engineering, providing luxury residences, retail and leisure facilities across three main areas - the trunk, the crescent, and the fronds. Over the next five to six years, The Palm Jumeirah will become one of the world's premier resorts, offering more than 30 beachfront hotels, including Atlantis, The Palm. The 17 fronds which form the head of The Palm Jumeirah will be home to some of the most luxurious villas in the world each with its own beachfront. Nakheel is one of the world's largest privately held real estate developers, and a key player in realising the vision of Dubai for the 21st century: creating a world class destination for business and tourism.
Cunard Line was formed in 1839 principally to carry the Royal Mail between the UK and North America, and in doing so inaugurated in 1840 the first timetabled steamship service across the Atlantic. The company now operates the only scheduled passenger service across the Atlantic, along with world-wide voyages on the most famous (and only) ocean liners in the world. These legendary voyages offer like-minded travellers the epitome of British refinement through impeccable White Star ServiceSM, fine dining and the elegance and grandeur of these iconic vessels. Cunard's current fleet consists of Queen Mary 2, the world's largest and grandest liner, and Queen Elizabeth 2, the world's fastest and best known liner. The 1,980 passenger Queen Victoria, a truly Classic Cunarder, will join the fleet in December 2007.
Cunard Line is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, which is the largest cruise holiday group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, and P&O Cruises Australia. These brands operate 80 ships totaling 149,000 lower berths. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices. Combined, the companies attract seven million guests annually.
Istithmar and Dubai World
Istithmar PJSC is the investment company of Dubai World. It is 100 % owned by Dubai World, which is in turn wholly owned by the Government of Dubai. It has an investment portfolio which includes more than 50 successful companies. The real estate business aims to acquire and manage a distinguished and diversified portfolio of properties in commercial property, hotels and resorts, the leisure sector and in retail. Existing investments include Kerzner Group, International Hotel Investments, Mandarin Oriental in New York, The Adelphi in London, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Cape Town's V&A Waterfront.
Dubai World is the holding company which manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai Government, working towards making Dubai the leading hub for trade and commerce. Dubai World has more than 50,000 employees in more than 100 cities around the world and its companies include DP World, P&O, Nakheel, Istithmar PJSC, Inchcape Shipping Services and Tejari.
|Date Posted: 6/18/2007 |