Cunard Sells QE2 for $100 Million

The Queen Elizabeth 2 is going the way of another former Cunard ship, the Queen Mary, by becoming a hotel. On Monday, Cunard Line said it sold the 40-year-old ship for $100 million to Dubai World, which will turn it into a luxury hotel by 2009 and situate it at The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The sale comes as Cunard's newest ship, Queen Victoria, prepares for its December debut. The sale to Dubai World gives the desert hotspot another feather in its cap, as it looks to become the Las Vegas of the region. Carol Marlow, Cunard's president and managing director, was happy that future generations would be able to experience the ship, which, during its time in service, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times. "QE2 at the Palm Jumeirah will become one of the must-see experiences of Dubai and of the Middle East," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World. "We are investing in creating a truly global tourism destination." Like the Queen Elizabeth 2, the Queen Mary 2, which now resides in Long Beach, CA, became a floating hotel when it was retired in 1967.

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