A trip to Harrods is often high on the 'must-do' list for shopaholics visiting London. And even if you don't have a bank balance similar to Posh and Becks, you could still own a little piece of Harrods luxury by settling for a branded teddy bear, key ring or shopping bag. Better yet, spend some time wandering the food hall and pick out some treats for a delicious picnic to enjoy at nearby Hyde Park. Save your pennies for a spot of Harrods shopping and get a quote on a low-cost UK car hire here...
One is a world famous department store - synonymous with luxury. From your groceries to your designer shoes, it's for people who like the finer things in life - and have a wallet to support it. The other is a world famous cruise liner. Like the former, its name conjures up luxury but it's a more old world kind of luxury at a time where taking off on a cruise was something very few could afford.
And what they both have in common? You may one day be able to check yourself into a Harrods hotel or actually even on the QE2 as it floats on a port in Dubai.
No cruising but the same old world luxury in the QE2
Ship shape for a luxury hotel?
The owners hope it will be! Made to entertain, she has five restaurants, several bars, a casino, cinema, health club, shopping area, library and even a hospital.
As part of a big tourism development drive in Dubai's Port Rashid, where the QE2 is currently moored, the old ship will be turned into a 300 room hotel. Having originally had plans for a major transformation of the ship, Istithmar World PJSC, who bought her in 2007, now say that they will work to preserve much of the QE2's interior. Chairman of the company, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said “We realised that a lot of people love the ship as it is. We will fix what needs to be fixed, but we will preserve its tradition and the way it was.”
The QE2's first maiden voyage was from Southampton to New York back in 1969. Since then, it's made 25 round-the-world voyages before it was retired in 2008. During it's close to 40 years as a cruise liner, the QE2 has accommodated guests that have included members of the royal family. Built to withstand all sorts of weather, it survived Hurricane Luis in 1995 when it was hit by a 95-foot wave. If only ships could talk - could you imagine the stories…?
Desert nights in the shape of a palm tree
Those Arabians know how to do luxury - take Palm Jumeirah for example... You would usually expect to find palm trees on islands but in Dubai, they've created islands to look like a palm tree! If you're planning a trip to Dubai, make sure you have a look at our great deals on Dubai car hire.
Although earlier plans included moving the hotel to Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, the owners will make the most of its current location by transforming Port Rashid into a tourist attraction in its own right. Part of this will include converting the old port terminal into a maritime museum that will house 25,000 artefacts and works of art. Work on both the museum and the old ship are expected to be complete in 18 months.
Taking the Harrods brand around the world
Surf's up in Long Beach, NY
Plans are still at the early stage of development but we could see the famous name in New York. The Big Apple has plenty of big-time sights to see in Manhattan but it's thoroughly worth heading out a little further to see some great gems in the other boroughs. It's also just a drive away in your USA car hire to the Atlantic coastline. Photo by Mike Nelson/Unsound Surf.
The department store itself might not have traveled the seas of the world (well, it would be a bit tricky really!), but its new owners have plans to take the name to locations as far flung as Kuala Lumpur and New York. Other locations being considered for a Harrods Hotel include Paris and Sardinia. The company have said that they will be giving preference to sites they already own, which includes London's Chelsea Barracks.
From the USA to the UK and on to the UAE - we've got your car hire covered!