Filed under: Yachts & Sailing
For a long time it has seemed that Dubai's acquisition of the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship has been ill-fated. Dubai World acquired the ship for a reported $100 million and planned to turn it into a glamorous floating hotel in Dubai. But the anticipated renovation never took place and rumors began last year that the ship would eventually be for sale amid the general financial turmoil that has hit Dubai. Now various sources are reporting that in order to pay down some of Dubai World's massive $22 billion debt it is seeking to unload a variety of assets including the QE2. Also up for sale could be the global circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. The sell-off began last week when Dubai World's investment subsidy, Istithmar sold off a 13 percent stake in Indian domestic airline SpiceJet.
The real question is, who's buying? The Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched in 1967 and she would need a major, costly refit to be attractive as a tourist cruise ship again. Some fear that the venerable vessel may be looking at the scrap heap and other are calling for England to buy the ship to save her.