All hands on deck to give QE2 a 'royal' welcome
Life begins at forty for world's favourtie ocean liner
Four Communications client, Nakheel, welcomed QE2, the world’s most famous ocean liner, to Dubai today, exactly forty years to the day from when she first went to sea on her preliminary sea trials on 26th November 1968.
QE2 will made her way along the Dubai coastline to Mina Rashid, where she will be moored before undergoing a transformation that will see her become a centre of culture and luxuryon the eastern trunk side of Palm Jumeirah.
The arrival of QE2 has captured the hearts of individuals and organisations across Dubai who ensured she was given a welcome fit for a queen. A flotilla of over 60 local yachts, boats and leisure-craft led by MY Dubai – the mega-yacht of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai - and Royal Navy Frigate, HMS Lancaster, captained by Commander Rory Bryan, greeted QE2 at The World. The welcoming flotilla, with the UAE Navy also taking a leading role, then accompanied QE2 through the Arabian Gulf to Mina Rashid. The Dubai Coastguard GRP Fourth Squadron coordinated all activity in the Arabian Gulf, led by Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Rashid Juma Al-Hameli.
As QE2 passed The World an Emirates A380 Airbus, piloted by Captain Abbas Shaban, performed a fly-past in honour of her arrival. Joining the A380 Airbus in the skies was a Royal Naval helicopter, piloted by Lieutenant Commander Mike Currie.
His Excellency Sultan Bin Ahmed Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai World, said:
“Nakheel is proud to be the custodian of such an historic treasure. Dubai, with its wealth of maritime heritage, is providing the warmest of welcomes and a new homecoming for this icon of the seas.
“It is fitting that QE2 will arrive at Mina Rashid, a site that has been pivotal in the growth and development of the emirate and commemorates the memory of His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the father of modern-day Dubai. It is also apt that refurbishment work on QE2 will take place within the Dubai Dry Dock, which Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II, escorted by Sheikh Rashid, inaugurated 29 years ago during her first official visit to the UAE.”
On arrival at Mina Rashid, QE2 was met by a royal party joined by the Dubai Police Band and traditional Arabic Ayallah performers who entertained the crowds gathered at the port, as well as passengers on board the ship. A fireworks display set against the backdrop of QE2 followed as dusk set in.
Manfred Ursprunger, CEO of QE2 Enterprises, Nakheel Hotels said:
“We are thrilled to be welcoming QE2 to Dubai today. This is one of the most anticipated events of the year and marks a new and exciting chapter in her life.
“For QE2, we believe that life really does begin at 40. Our plans include her transformation into an ultra-luxury floating hotel, synonymous with her rich heritage, where she’ll form the centrepiece of a luxurious residential, entertainment, marina, and hotel development off the trunk of Palm Jumeirah. A heritage museum displaying artifacts from QE2 and of local maritime history as well as a West-end style theatre capable of staging the very best, full-scale West End and Broadway productions will also feature in the precinct.”
Further information can be found at www.nakheelmediacentre.com
For more information please contact:
Margaret Flanagan or Rebecca Leach at Four Communications - Nakheel@fourcommunications.com or tel: +971 55 985 3378/77
Lashley Pulsipher, Senior PR & Communications Executive
+971 4 375 3797 / +971 (0)50 658 2052