Former Cunard flagship QE2 is to be rescued by Asian investors after languishing in Dubai for five years.

The joint venture deal, which is due to be signed today, should mean the vessel eventually sets off to serve as a floating hotel in Hong Kong or Singapore, the Financial Times reported, quoting “people aware of the matter”.

The Singapore-based Oceanic Group is poised to invest in a joint venture with Dubai, saving the emirate an estimated $1 million a month needed to keep the vessel berthed in Dubai’s Port Rashid.

Dubai World bought the ship from Cunard in 2007 for about $100 million but the government-owned conglomerate’s plans for the ship were wrecked when a year later the financial crisis hit the emirate’s property boom.

QE2 is now expected to go into dry dock for a multi-million dollar refurbishment instead of being scrapped, according to today’s report.