The world famous QE2 liner, owned by Istithmar is up for sale to a Chinese firm according to speculations. The liner has been retired since 2008 after making its last trip to Dubai. This comes as a shock as up till July, its owner had expressed the desire to turn the liner into a 300-room luxury floating hotel in order to revolutionize and transform the Port of Rashid were it is currently located. The launch of such a hotel would have been a real boost for the tourism economy of the hotel. The liner was bought from Cunard for around $100m in June 2007 by the Dubai-based investment company but it is now up for grabs for around $32m. The british company interest in acquiring the vessel had offered an additional $98m for renovation but the UK media reported that the Chinese firm seems to be offering the payment on faster terms.
The 293m long vessel was launched by the Queen in 1969 by the Queen and has made all-round trips from Southampton to New York for 30 years.