A brush with history for Dubai residents

Dubai - Residents and tourists alike flocked to various spots at the Jumeirah open beach Wednesday to see the Queen Elizabeth II on her last voyage.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 26 Nov 2008, 10:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:24 PM

Excited residents gathered around the beach with their family members, clutching cameras trying to catch a glimpse of the majestic ship on her last journey before retirement on the Palm Island.

Tourists who were in Dubai gathered around at a strip on the Jumeirah beach shouting in excitement as the Emirates airbus A380 flew over the QE2 to invite her into Dubai.

Aviation enthusiasts James Deaton and Tom Gronow who were at the beach found the sight quite a spectacle. “The fly by was quite a sight, and it would be cool if there were more of such spectacles here” said Deaton.

Both Deaton and Gronow was skeptical about how big a boost the coming of QE2 into Dubai would be for the emirate’s tourism. “Taking a European ship and turning it into a hotel is not a first-of-its-kind initiative. The QE2 is the second luxury liner to be renovated into a hotel after the Queen Mary on Long Beach, California” said Gronow.

However, for residents like Marie Barker and Claire Drinkwater who are from the UK, the QE2 holds sentimental values. “QE2 is an icon of Britain and I couldn’t think of a better place for her to retire than Dubai. The QE2 would definitely attract many British tourists and we are very proud of the fact that she here in Dubai,” said Barker.

Claire agreed that the coming of the QE2 was an event of huge prestige to Britons. “Dubai’s aspiration to have the biggest of everything would definitely get a boost by the fact that the hotel would be a spectacle,” said Claire.

Ruzie Elavia, a resident of Dubai had brought her young children to the beach to let them know the historical significance of the vessel. “It’s like a piece of history being here in Dubai; I want my children to see the ship on its final voyage. Considering its historic value, there would be a lot to learn from it being here in Dubai,” said Ruzie.

Chris Argent, a resident of Dubai, is keen on checking out the hotel’s interiors once it has been renovated. “I hope the renovation does not take away too much of the ship’s original worth and beauty,” said Chris.

Andrew Bertran, a tourist from Scotland and his family hope the funnel of the ship is not removed in the process of renovation.

“It is quite a spectacle and we hope the renovation would not remove the funnel of the ship, and some of the finer aspects that give the ship its historical feel,” said Andrew.


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