Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of QE2 Shipping LLC, Dubai and QE2 Holding Pte Limited, Singapore, today addressed a gathering of dignitaries to provide an update regarding the iconic liner-the QE2, the following is a statement issued by Drydocks World:
He began by thanking the teams involved in the project, partners in the venture Oceanic Group, the consortium of investors and other parties involved in making the work done so far possible while outlining the future steps which will be taken to bring the project to fruition. Describing this as one of the most challenging and bold projects ever undertaken; he also thanked Their Highnesses, the leaders of Dubai for providing the vision and support in bringing this project to reality.
Outlining the work that has been completed, HE provided details of the transfer of ownership of the vessel to a new entity called QE2 Shipping LLC, based out of and owned by Dubai and that all necessary registry documentation with the flag state on the ownership of the vessel had been completed.
He also confirmed that all necessary insurances such as PandI, H and M had also been endorsed to recognize the new ownership. Most importantly, he was able to confirm that the QE2 had been brought back to class under the Lloyds Register which has always been the case before her launch.
On the Technical side, teams from Drydocks World, who were charged with bringing the vessel back into class to enable her sail on her own steam to the Far East and Oceanic Group, who have provided an on board crew of 32, have worked on the first two phases of the project beginning with an overall check and work scope identification which was essential for the vessel after a long lay by. Following this a number of activities were undertaken on the vessel including hull and structural checks, steel repairs and renewals, ballast tank, air conditioning, sea suction and cooling system inspections, pumping out, cleaning and steel renewal in deep tanks, overhauling of stabilizers and bow thrusters, cleaning of diesel oil tanks, sewage tanks and other tanks and safety checks, repairs and upgrades. The aspect of overhauling her engines had commenced and was currently well underway.
In terms of the way forward, he pointed out the following steps
Renovation and transformation
A number of yards (Rong Sheng, Cosco, China Merchant and China Shipping) were invited to Dubai for ship inspection and technical teams are now finalizing and preparing the work scope based on these required inspections and reviews of the ship. The next press conference has been scheduled sometime towards mid August in Shanghai to officially announce the successful yard where the renovation and transformation of the vessel to a hotel/residence will take place.
Interior and concept design
On the aspects related to interior and concept design, a number of international concept designer houses including Benoy, Francis Leung of Hong Kong, Ong and Ong, Wilson Associates and Jeday Associates have been invited to submit their plans. Some changes will be made to the original plans which were envisaged and it has been decided that the QE2 will be an all suite hotel with suite sizes varying between 60 and 150 square meters. Some larger suites are intended for long stay residences.
Requests for proposals have already been sent to these design houses and the intention is that submitted designs will be placed on the ‘qe2hotels’ website where public opinion will be invited against set criteria to choose the best design.
The memorabilia will be removed from the vessel and shipped to Singapore and stored in a specially secured warehouse. These will then be reassembled after renovation of the vessel is completed and the curation process of placement in the ship will begin in line with the interior and concept designs.
Based on the new timeline for completion of the technical aspects in Dubai HE confirmed that a tentative date had been set for a gala sail off party in Dubai to bid farewell to the QE2 on October 18. She is then expected to reach Singapore on Nov 1 where she will stay for 3 days before proceeding to Hong Kong for another 3 days and thereafter leave for the selected "true" shipyard in China to complete her transformation.
In his address HE Buamim said: “Over the last few months we have put a lot of effort and work into this project in planning and negotiation and our overall plans for the QE2 are well on track. We have surmounted all of the challenges placed before us and been able to transform these to opportunities. We are proud and privileged in being part of this project 'The QE2-New Life' The project in which shaping the future becomes reality and is moving ahead well according to plan. We have been working in a true collaborative and cooperative manner with our stakeholders and despite the extremely hectic and difficult situations that we have faced both our strategic and action plans are totally aligned with what is to be- We will deliver an ICONIC project for the world to romance and talk about for many many years to come.”
“Some really deep thought and strategic management planning have gone into this project. We have moved forward in a holistic and calculated manner in order to ensure that the product positioning is correct, the brand name is strengthened and the implementation and the execution taken to complete the project is simple, realistic and cost effective. Rest assured that a lot of work has been done in preparing the vessel for the next stage," he added.
Project New Life-the transformation of an iconic liner the QE2 to a luxurious all suite hotel with a permanent place in Maritime history is being handled with good care by Drydocks World in partnership with Oceanic Group International Limited.