THE QE2 is to leave Dubai under her own steam to a new home port, it has been revealed.

The vessel, which has been in the Middle East since leaving Southampton in 2008, will leave the UAE and sail to China.

There it will become a luxury floating hotel - the fate it had been expected to receive in Dubai before the faltering global economy put paid to those plans.

The move has been rumoured for some time, having first been reported by the Daily Echo back in January.

The exact destination has yet to be revealed, but it is suggested the ship will stop off along the way at Singapore and Hong Kong before going on to its new berth.

Prior to the sailing, the ship will require extensive work on its engines, which are currently underway, according to Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of QE2 Shipping, which is the company that will take ownership of the ship.

Speaking at an event in Singapore, he said the ship will sail under its own steam with a crew of 32, and that she had already undergone a number of inspections following work to ensure QE2 is sea worthy.