QE2 to be cut in half in Dubai

We’ve written about QE2 before. The last post was Jeffrey’s report that the ship had made it to Dubai with great fanfare.

When I read yesterday that the QE2 was to be cut in half, I pictured two halves of this magnificent ocean liner floating around its palm shaped, manmade island. Did Dubai World, the state-run conglomerate who bought the ocean liner want a hotel for each side of the island, I wondered. Something like bookends?

That’s not it. Turning a ship into a hotel doesn’t mean just docking it as is. At least, not in this case. Although, The Queen’s Room, The Captain’s Quarters and The Bridge will stay in their original state, according to this msnbc article from last November, there are changes to be made to make the ship hotel worthy.

Apparently, that’s where cutting it in half comes in. When it’s cut in half, a 100-foot extension will be added into the middle. What will be done with the middle, I’m not sure. This Daily Record.co.uk article doesn’t say. What it does say is that some folks are miffed–spitting mad with the idea of the alteration. Disgusted. Not in those words exactly, but the sentiments are about right. For maritime buffs, cutting the QE2 in half is worse than turning it into scrap metal. To these folks, cutting the QE2 in half is an indication that the company that bought the ship has no idea what a treasure it has.

I’ve heard that getting a ring resized by cutting the band at the back in order to add an extension is a bad idea. It makes the ring lose its value. Perhaps the same holds true with a luxury liner.

Queen Elizabeth 2 arrives in Dubai and retires

In October, Jamie blogged about the last voyage of the storied cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2, which was making a final voyage from New York to Dubai, where she will be retired.

Well, she reached Dubai yesterday, and after 40 years of high seas luxury, the end of an era has arrived.

The QE2 will remain in Dubai, where it will become a floating luxury hotel moored on a manmade island (it seems there’s nothing in Dubai that is not manmade).

The cruise ship is going out in style, however. Its arrival in the region was met with marching bands and fireworks.

The Associated Press says the QE2 has traveled 6 million miles, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and carried 2.5 million passengers.

Were you one of them? Got a QE2 story? Share it with us.

Life at sea: 9 year cruise ship resident looking for a new home

Some people seek out golf courses and gated communities for their retirement; others choose the ocean. That’s exactly what Beatrice Muller, an 89 year-old widow from New Jersey, did. She’s spent the last nine years living the life on the high seas, cruising around the world on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2. Muller finds this much more pleasant than any old retirement home and she plans to keep up her worldly accommodations, except for one problem: the 41 year old QE2 is retiring in November. What is an old, sea-loving woman to do? Find another ship of course.

Muller says despite her preferred ship’s retirement, she refuses to return to land. “What would I want to do that for?” she was quoted asking The Times. Her cabin costs about $7,000 a month, and according to her estimates, that’s about the same as a retirement home in Florida, just “far more pleasant.”

Actually living on the sea isn’t as strange as it sounds. Magellan offers a Residential Cruise Line, where for $4 million and up you can buy your own on-board condo. The World is another “seagoing community” popular with the financially secure crowd.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Muller chooses as her next home. As for the QE2, it’s headed to Dubai to become a floating hotel.

That’s some weird cruise news. Click the images below to read some weird airline news:

A Peek into the Future of Dubai

Today, the city of Dubai announced it has purchased the Queen Elizabeth 2, “one of the world’s most majestic cruise liners,” to convert into a luxury hotel. The QE2 will be completely renovated and parked at the world’s largest man-made island, Palm Jumeirah. The restoration process will stay true to the original design of the ship, and a museum will be built inside to educate visitors on the liner’s legacy.

What’s else in store for the booming city of Dubai? Here’s a quick rundown of current, future, and conceptual projects in the United Arab Emirates’s oasis in the desert.

We talked about it earlier today, but the outrageousness of the resort complex dubbed The Cloud makes it worthy of another mention. Nadim Karam, a Lebanese architect, presented this resort-in-the-sky concept at the International Design Forum in Dubai last month. The actual resort will resemble a cloud floating 300 meters in the air, with slanting support beams that look like sheets of rain. Take that, Sandals! [Stage: Concept]

Who needs Disneyworld when you’ve got Dubailand? Announced in 2003, this super-sized mega theme park (the builders prefer to think of it as a true city) will consist of six poorly named “worlds”: Attractions & Experience World, Retail and Entertainment World, Themed Leisure and Vacation World, Eco-Tourism World, Sports and Outdoor World, and Downtown, each containing a total of 26 “sub-worlds.” Downtown will feature the world’s largest shopping mall, called Mall of Dubai. Coffee lovers unite: the Mall of Dubai will eventually feature the world’s largest Starbucks. [Stage: Under Construction]

Bigger is better, and Dubai has its sites set on the sky with the Burj Dubai. When construction finishes in 2009, the Burj Dubai will most likely be the tallest “land-based structure” (which includes buildings and towers) in the world. Why most likely? “The projected final height of the Burj Dubai is officially being kept a secret due to competition,” according to its Wikipedia entry. Makes sense — why announce an official height when you can just continue building if someone else announces a larger project? Clever. [Status: Under Construction]

Italian-Israeli architect, David Fisher, unveiled in April a 68-story “spinning tower” he hopes to see join the the Dubai skyline in the future. Unlike existing structures that have a single revolving floor (San Antonio’s Tower of the Americas comes to mind, among many others), “[e]ach floor would rotate independently, creating a constantly changing architectural form,” says the Wall Street Journal. This is by far the coolest concept building I’ve found, Dubai or not. It reminds me a bit of Jenga, only…you know…much cooler. [Status: Concept]