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Author Topic: QE2 to Close until September 2020  (Read 397 times)

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Online Michael Gallagher

QE2 to Close until September 2020
« on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:34 AM »
Just posted on QE2 FB Page:

*Important Information*

In light of recent global events and taking into account the QE2’s position as an ongoing restoration project, the QE2 has announced plans to temporarily close the vessel and all of the on board facilities from 12pm on 19th March 2020 until 12pm 1st September 2020

After careful consultation and deliberation, the senior leadership team have decided to close the hotel and all of its facilities to further progress on the existing renovation plans during the anticipated low season.

All updates and announcements will be made via the QE2’s social media platforms. To stay up to date, please follow our Facebook and Instagram channels @qe2dubai

We wish all of our Passengers, Navigators, fans and partners to stay safe during this time

#stillmakinghistory

For media enquiries, please contact marketing@qe2.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #1 on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:48 AM »
Thank you, Michael. This makes sense.

And if they can really find the workforce still willing and able to work under these conditions, they may even be able to make some progress with their plans in the meantime.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #2 on: Mar 16, 2020, 01:52 PM »
Unprecedented action in unprecedented times. I hope things turn out positively in the end for QE2 and all who are involved with her in Dubai, and that her staff and the workers stay safe during these uncertain times. This is a blow to not just us fans/former passengers/former crew but to her staff who have also been taken in by QE2’s still existing special “spell” and love the ship too.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Davina

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #3 on: Mar 16, 2020, 04:12 PM »
QE2 will be moved in roughly 4 weeks to the Dry Docks....
« Last Edit: Mar 16, 2020, 04:16 PM by Davina »

Offline Chris Hodges

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #4 on: Mar 16, 2020, 04:30 PM »
Do we know why there is a need to dry dock again ??

Offline Davina

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 2020, 04:38 PM »
Do we know why there is a need to dry dock again ??

Something is cooking up I will add more when it get it

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2020, 05:02 PM »
Something is cooking up I will add more when it get it

Thank you.  Whatever plans they had, will have gone up in smoke over the past couple of weeks.  Dubai hotel occupancy for the next months will be a fraction of what it is normally.
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Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2020, 05:34 PM »
Worrying but understandable news. I'm sure they have the best intentions but money will be tight, COVID-19 is and will continue to cause financial problems similar to that of the 2008 crash - particularly on tourism. I imagine PCFC/Emaar will be suffering big losses this year - right when they would have been anticipating big returns with Expo 2020.

By 'cooking up' I hope they're not about to turn her in to a hospital ship!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #8 on: Mar 16, 2020, 08:06 PM »
Do we know why there is a need to dry dock again ??

The nearby shipyard is called the Dubai DryDocks, she may or may not actually be drydocked.

To be honest, with regards to the ship herself, I'm most concerned she could end up in cold layup again and the work done on her so far could then be wasted not to mention the other potential and actual consequences of such a thing including what a lot of us dread happening to her anytime soon. Having said that it seems they'll want her in action again for the Expo starting this October if indeed that goes ahead after all...and they really do seem committed (also from gauging in person) to making her work in her new life in Dubai so hopefully what they've said officially actually transpires and goes to plan. She has had to pay her own way in recent times (not to mention recouping the massive investment on her) and has been doing so enough until now. Hopefully she can pick up where she's left off come September.
« Last Edit: Mar 16, 2020, 08:29 PM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #9 on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:31 PM »
Wasn't there a recent post on here somewhere saying that below the waterline her hull is seriously caked with barnacles, weed and other marine life?  A dry docking to clean that lot off would make a lot of sense.
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Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #10 on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:37 PM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #11 on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:42 PM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.

Interesting...
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #12 on: Mar 16, 2020, 10:58 PM »
Wasn't there a recent post on here somewhere saying that below the waterline her hull is seriously caked with barnacles, weed and other marine life?  A dry docking to clean that lot off would make a lot of sense.

Yes, noticed that during my stay, but for a static ship it's not a priority.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #13 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:01 PM »
Yes, noticed that during my stay, but for a static ship it's not a priority.

It can't be good for the condition of the hull metal, though?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #14 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:06 PM »
Quote from: Louis
So QE2 Hotel is closing down though it was not really opened? Now that is a surprise but sure its more than meets the eye.

Many will say here I go again with my negative opinions.But facts are facts and they cant be hidden.QE2 is still far from been saved and years ago I said the turning point in the ships life in Dubai will be the Expo 2020 and that very doubtfully she would stay in Dubai after the Expo.

Now I believe that has reached its moment now,QE2 is closing down and might never open again in Dubai,time has arrived for QE2 to say goodbye and head Eastwards but not to Alang...

QE2 is losing money at a fast rate and looks like a Chinese buyer has been found.

One thing is for sure in roughly 4 weeks QE2 will be moved back to the Dry Docks costs here paid mostly likely by those Chinese investors

QE2 the next chapter not to be missed...

In another comment he mentions that most of those (I presume except essential maintenance staff) have lost their jobs.

Big questions naturally over where she's going:
1) Does she stay in Dubai under new owners or move? Moving to Dubai DryDocks could indicate either extensive refurbishment, or hull cleaning for movement elsewhere. Next 6 months would be ideal time to redo decks 3, 4 and 5 if they planned on converting those.
2) How sudden was this decision? Would seem odd to have invested so much recently (e.g. Queen's Grill) to discontinue her entirely.
3) If leaving Dubai, do the books, paintings and artefacts in the terminal building go with her?
4) Is this all covert and actually she's off to be turned in to razor blades (or MacBooks with recycled aluminium)?

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #15 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:13 PM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.

Chinese investors, huh ?  I hope this is not deja vu...
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #16 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:41 PM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.

Speculation. The official channels don't appear to imply this at all and it would be a big turn around for Dubai given she is strongly "their" ship these days (in their opinion, and if that means they look after her well then that's the main thing). Would Chinese investors be in a better financial position than Dubai?, and given the unfolding pandemic and serious economic consequences it would seem an odd investment to make whether she stays in Dubai or not (one would think they'd would've had a rethink even if this was a thing). Furthermore, if she were to leave Dubai, I'd imagine China would be the last place for her at the moment and for some time yet.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #17 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:46 PM »
Speculation. The official channels don't appear to imply this at all and it would be a big turn around for Dubai given she is strongly "their" ship these days (in their opinion, and if that means they look after her well then that's the main thing). Would Chinese investors be in a better financial position than Dubai?, and given the unfolding pandemic and serious economic consequences it would seem an odd investment to make whether she stays in Dubai or not (one would think they'd would've had a rethink even if this was a thing). Furthermore, if she were to leave Dubai, I'd imagine China would be the last place for her at the moment and for some time yet.

It does seem weird - why open the bridge up, redo Queen's Grill (during peak period), etc. to dispose of just weeks later? Still, weirder things have happened over the years...

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #18 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:47 PM »
It can't be good for the condition of the hull metal, though?

In the long term yes, but then she'd likely be drydocked along the timeframes of other static ships such as HMY Britannia and HMS Belfast (but on a case by case and need based basis). She also has the new sacrificial anode layout designed for her static role which I'd guess is still good only two years after her last drydocking. I'm far from an expert but find it hard to believe she "needs" to be drydocked unless their plans require it, and if so I'm more concerned about those plans as they'd imply major things...(not that that's actually the case).
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #19 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:52 PM »
Actually, my comment about the investors and deja vu had to do with QE2's "Mum", so to speak.
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #20 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:55 PM »
It does seem weird - why open the bridge up, redo Queen's Grill (during peak period), etc. to dispose of just weeks later? Still, weirder things have happened over the years...

It is weird and I think it's beyond Dubai's unusual moves. I'll believe it if it (hopefully doesn't) happens. Staff being laid off could well be just because she's closed. Would a land based hotel or a cruise ship company keep all their staff employed when the hotel is shut or the cruise ships are laid up? It has likely serious consequences for the employees but it's a "corporate evil" to keep the organisation treading water as much as possible, dog eat dog kind of situation.

Also surely if this was planned she'd go after the Expo itself? That's Dubai's preoccupation after all and surely if they need the hotel capacity if nothing else...
« Last Edit: Mar 17, 2020, 12:14 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #21 on: Mar 17, 2020, 12:08 AM »
In another comment he mentions that most of those (I presume except essential maintenance staff) have lost their jobs.

Big questions naturally over where she's going:
1) Does she stay in Dubai under new owners or move? Moving to Dubai DryDocks could indicate either extensive refurbishment, or hull cleaning for movement elsewhere. Next 6 months would be ideal time to redo decks 3, 4 and 5 if they planned on converting those.
2) How sudden was this decision? Would seem odd to have invested so much recently (e.g. Queen's Grill) to discontinue her entirely.
3) If leaving Dubai, do the books, paintings and artefacts in the terminal building go with her?
4) Is this all covert and actually she's off to be turned in to razor blades (or MacBooks with recycled aluminium)?

Five Deck is refurbished and used for staff who live onboard (had a peak in late January to confirm). And the rebuilding of Three and Four Decks (seemingly part of later plans anyway from official material) doesn't require drydocking itself, necessarily, given that a lot of the conversion work was done wetdock alongside in Port Rashid from mid 2015 onwards.

I would be very surprised if this is a covert scrapping with immediate effect, gauging from senior people I worked with (briefly) onboard (why would the project I was involved in have even existed and started only this January for unveiling later this year all being well? - bad PR if she was scrapped in the meantime), the outlook of the ship (staff and her upkeep etc), the ongoing and extensive refurbishment, the events being her bread and butter and being well attended. She has a lot going for her and a lot of time, money, and potential would be utterly wasted, just accounting from her new life in Dubai let alone her history and fame from 40 years at sea.
« Last Edit: Mar 17, 2020, 02:30 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #22 on: Mar 17, 2020, 09:15 AM »
Regarding the dry docking, I would have thought her previous one would have lasted her 10 years or something, if still in her current role in Dubai.

In terms of the worry of her being put into cold layup again, the cost of running her now versus when she was still using her own generators will be much smaller, and also easier to manage.  The term warm layup can't apply to QE2 any more, since she'll never be "warm" again.

We are about to see a number of cruise ships retired/scrapped as the current climate his home.
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Offline Rod

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #23 on: Mar 17, 2020, 11:24 AM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.


Helicopter carrier??

Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #24 on: Mar 17, 2020, 02:44 PM »
In terms of the worry of her being put into cold layup again, the cost of running her now versus when she was still using her own generators will be much smaller, and also easier to manage.  The term warm layup can't apply to QE2 any more, since she'll never be "warm" again.

Perhaps plugged layup? :P

Five Deck is refurbished and used for staff who live onboard (had a peak in late January to confirm). And the rebuilding of Three and Four Decks (seemingly part of later plans anyway from official material) doesn't require drydocking itself, necessarily, given that a lot of the conversion work was done wetdock alongside in Port Rashid from mid 2015 onwards.

I would be very surprised if this is a covert scrapping with immediate effect, gauging from senior people I worked with (briefly) onboard (why would the project I was involved in have even existed and started only this January for unveiling later this year all being well? - bad PR if she was scrapped in the meantime), the outlook of the ship (staff and her upkeep etc), the ongoing and extensive refurbishment, the events being her bread and butter and being well attended. She has a lot going for her and a lot of time, money, and potential would be utterly wasted, just accounting from her new life in Dubai let alone her history and fame from 40 years at sea.

Agree on both points. The most innocent (and still rational) explanation is that they're closing due to the complete drying-up of tourism expected and sending her to Dubai DryDocks (which doesn't necessarily mean she'll be 'dry docked') is being done as it's cheaper and easier for them to renovate decks 3 and 4 than it is to get contractors out to Mina Rashid.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #25 on: Mar 17, 2020, 09:11 PM »
Perhaps plugged layup? :P

Agree on both points. The most innocent (and still rational) explanation is that they're closing due to the complete drying-up of tourism expected and sending her to Dubai DryDocks (which doesn't necessarily mean she'll be 'dry docked') is being done as it's cheaper and easier for them to renovate decks 3 and 4 than it is to get contractors out to Mina Rashid.

Agreed, a "plugged" in layup and carrying on the rebuilding, wetdock/alongside, with the labour the shipyard will likely be able to offer (given the circumstances of cheap labour in Dubai) there and then/on site seems most likely and sensible. However, one wonders if supply lines likely being affected will thwart this sometime in the future, let alone the health of the workforce. The knock on and deeply profound effects of this pandemic boggle the mind and are utterly unprecedented at least in our lifetimes.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #26 on: Mar 17, 2020, 10:37 PM »
We are about to see a number of cruise ships retired/scrapped as the current climate his home.

If there is the labour to do the scrapping (health wise) and the shipbreaking economy doesn't collapse. Laid up ships, becoming more and more derelict/rotting away could well become a more frequent sight and (hopefully not) the norm.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Barumfox

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #27 on: Mar 18, 2020, 02:15 AM »
As this announcement seems to have followed on almost immediately from the Duba governments decision to close bars and restaurants as well as the reported collapse in hotel bookings with other hotel closures being announced it maybe that tis was seen as an opportunity to carry out scheduled work internally with less revenue being lost than in more normal times and if this can be done more efficiently in the Dry Docks area - whether this includes actual dry-docking / hull work as well or not - is hopefully nothing sinister.

It may therefore be a good thing that most of her artefacts are in the terminal and will presumably stay put until she hopefully returns - hopefully the few large items on board such as the ship models and Royal Fmily portraits will be looked after. As they have made such a big thing about her being the centrepiece of the Marina area it would seem unlikely she would go to Chinese Investors unless - like Cunard - they got an offer too good to turn down.

As with all large scheduled events this year it may well be that the Dubai Expo has to be postponed if the situation there - and worldwide- does not improve in time. Euro 2020 postponement announced today and despite the current Japanese government stance it seems unlikely the Olympics can be staged in their usual format in July and so could be postponed as well.

Rob is right about the crisis shortening the lives of some cruise ships - I am booked on one of Astoria's last cruises with CMV in late September but already believe this is unlikely to take place and therefore I will miss a last chance to sail on this historic 70 year old vessel which is surely on borrowed time.

Gary

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #28 on: Mar 18, 2020, 02:43 PM »
An official response to a comment on Facebook (see attached screenshot). This is encouraging to see but goes against everything I've heard regarding QE2 in Dubai at the moment (what does one believe?), and I wonder how long this will be sustainable with the deteriorating global economic situation. JP Morgan have predicted a global recession by this July.
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Offline Davina

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #29 on: Mar 18, 2020, 04:25 PM »
An official response to a comment on Facebook (see attached screenshot). This is encouraging to see but goes against everything I've heard regarding QE2 in Dubai at the moment (what does one believe?), and I wonder how long this will be sustainable with the deteriorating global economic situation. JP Morgan have predicted a global recession by this July.

One of my contacts was a staff member onboard and he got a letter for termination of contract so did others..

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #30 on: Mar 18, 2020, 05:42 PM »
One of my contacts was a staff member onboard and he got a letter for termination of contract so did others..

Depends how you define "our staff".  They could have been subcontracted
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Offline Davina

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #31 on: Mar 18, 2020, 05:48 PM »
Depends how you define "our staff".  They could have been subcontracted

They are not subcontracted