Economic tides might be forcing Dubai to deal the Queen Elizabeth 2 to South Africa. Several reports have surfaced saying that South Africa is considering a proposal from Dubai to permanently berth the Queen Elizabeth 2 at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town and convert it to a luxury hotel.
Ronel Bester, a spokesman for South Africa's department of tourism, said that officials were talking with local hotels and other tourism-related business and hoped to reach a decision by the end of next week. The former Cunard ocean liner was bought by Dubai World for $100 million in 2007. A property crash in Dubai coupled with the foundering global economy is forcing the Emirate to now "sell, sell," not "buy, buy."
Nakheel, one of the main shareholders in the government-owned conglomerate, had planned to totally renovate the storybook liner with such touches as replacing the ship's funnel with a glass structure and penthouse suites.
Cape Town's harbor is a hotbed for tourists and includes hotels, restaurants, shops and a marina.