For the past 5 years, I have been to Dubai at the end of November for the Rugby Sevens and this year was no difference. It has become a routine to check on QE2 during the stay.
QE2 was moved a couple of times, from the cruise terminal to a berth in the customs area in Port Rashid, then into dry docks from January 17 to February 3, 2013. Her present location is Berth 8 alongside the dry docks pretty much in cold lay-up.
Throughout the year the media fed news of big plans and great changes which turned cold as soon as they were published. As has been the case since her arrival in Dubai, the owners are stalling on information as to how and when QE2 will be transformed into a hotel, and where her final destination will be.
End of October, Costco was named as the ship yard that will transform her into a hotel.
The verdict on the winner of the design contest is still out and will hopefully be announced, as advised on the QE2 Heritage Hotel website, mid-December.
Dubai Drydocks World have a full order book. While I was visiting DW made an announcement that they signed a letter of intend to build a series of the world’s largest jack-up rigs between 2014 and 2016. The docks are full and there was an abundance of oil tankers, ships, rigs and platforms in and outside the docks. Such was the situation when I was visiting. Views were obstructed from every corner of the docks and security guards pretty much interfered every time I took out the camera. Luck wasn’t on my side this year as I couldn’t take a good clear shot.
Photography in the entire area is forbidden, security guards do not respond overly friendly to the sight of photo cameras or video equipment. I found a few photo spots which would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for an oil tanker that was in the way. Weather conditions were hazy which is the normal condition in Dubai.
We first drove to the Southern side where the guards spotted us and asked us to leave immediately. I thought it was wise to retreat and just snapped one blurry shot taken from the car ….
The next couple of photos are taken from North Beach Road still under construction. We were the only people who clearly didn’t belong into the construction area so it was only a matter of time until security asked us to move on.
Looking at the close-ups you can see that some of the staterooms are occupied by crew: Doors are open and there is laundry and security vests hanging on the balcony. There is no smoke coming out of the stack.
I left Dubai on an early morning flight when it was still very dark. The plane made a long turn and we got a good view of the dry docks which were lit up. QE2 however was completely dark and there were no lights visible. She looked very much abandoned. I wonder if the current maintenance crew will put up a little Christmas tree, a nice gesture from the old crew in the past years. Somehow, I don’t think so.
Posts on previous visits to Dubai. Check out the photos, they show how well she looked when she was properly maintained, compared to her current state.