Storied QE2 liner set to depart Dubai in October

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An official involved in the transformation of the storied passenger liner Queen Elizabeth 2 into a floating hotel says the ship will set sail in October for Asia to begin the $90 million overhaul.

But full details remain under wraps. The Singapore-based group leading the project says only the QE2 will be refitted in a Chinese shipyard before being moored in an undisclosed Asian port as a 400-room hotel.

The ship has sat idle in Dubai for more than 4 ½ years after its purchase by the state investment company Istithmar World for $100 million.

Khamis Juma Buamin, chairman of shipyard operator Drydocks World, told reporters Sunday the 46-year-old QE2 is undergoing upgrades in Dubai before its planned Oct. 18 departure. It will stop in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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