Dubai quits plan to send liner QE2 to S.Africa -report

Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:08am GMT

DUBAI Jan 26 (Reuters) - Dubai has scrapped plans to move the Queen Elizabeth 2 to South Africa, saying it is still considering options to maximise the luxury liner's value, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.

Istithmar World, the investment arm of debt-laden conglomerate Dubai World [DBWLD.UL], operates the liner, which is currently moored in Dubai.

The National newspaper said Istithmar had ditched plans to sail the liner to Cape Town to be used as a hotel during the World Cup.

"There are a number of options being considered for the QE2," the newspaper said, citing the company. "Istithmar World is considering which option will best maximise value of the vessel."

Dubai World wants to renegotiate some $22 billion in debt and may need to sell assets. Istithmar declined to comment on whether it would sell the liner, the newspaper said.

Dubai rocked global markets on Nov. 25 when it asked for a repayment delay on $26 billion in debt linked to Dubai World and its main property units Nakheel and Limitless World.

A last-minute lifeline from Abu Dhabi helped the conglomerate avoid default on a $4.1-billion Islamic bond from Nakheel, the developer of palm-shaped islands.

Nakheel bought the liner in 2007, with plans to convert it into a luxury hotel.

(Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

((amran.abocar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 4 391 8301; Reuters Messaging: amran.abocar.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: DUBAI QE2

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