The QE2 is re-opening its doors as a luxury floating hotel, restaurant and exhibition space later this week.
The iconic cruise ship, now permanently docked at Dubai’s Mina Rashid, was formerly owned by Cunard but now belongs to PCFC hotels, part of Dubai government’s Ports, Customers and Free Zones Corporation.
Having undergone a multimillion pound makeover, the new ship has been restored to its sumptuous and former glory, with a twist of modern touches bringing it into the 21st century.
Guests can still expect period furniture and famous memorabilia, along with other authentic design features such as the original porthole windows in every room and suite.
Passengers will be treated to glorious views of Dubai’s iconic skyline, while relaxing in one of 13 restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
The on-board dining options include the Queen’s Grill, which was frequented by the Queen herself.
This fine-dining option serves the best of refined British cuisine, with a twist on the classics.
After, passengers can wet their whistle at The Golden Lion, a traditional pub with a wide selection of draught beers to enjoy while watching live sports, or playing a game of darts.
This will take guests on a journey back in time to the QE2’s storied past, with memorabilia including commemorative shields from the ship’s port of call hanging on the walls.
The QE2 made its maiden voyage on New York on 2, May 1969.
In 1975 it embarked on her first world cruise, but transformed into a troop ship to service in the Falkland’s war in May 1982.
In her heyday, the grand dame completed 806 transatlantic crossings and 25 trips around the world.
While having a number of previous owners in the past, including Cunard, Kvaerner and Carnival Corporation, PCFC Hotels bought the cruise liner in 2008.
Hamza Mustafa, chief executive of PCFC Hotels, commented: “To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team and I.
“It is one of Dubai’s most highly anticipated projects and we know that a lot of people are going to be very excited to see her for the first time, or to step back on board the vessel that created so many wonderful memories during her 40 years at sea.”
“We are especially thankful to our Chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem whose vision and determination to give her a second life has come to fruition.
“His passion for the Queen Elizabeth 2 and all that she represents means that she can continue to deliver the grandeur that she stood for, within a new special location at the heart of Mina Rashid, in Dubai.
“We have dedicated more than 2.7 million man-hours into transforming this legendary ocean liner into the multi-faceted tourist destination that she is today and I am very proud to reintroduce her to the world as she embarks on the next stage of her celebrated journey.
“It has been an honour to work on this wonderful project and to help sure that our lovely Lady lives up to her new slogan: still making history.”
The floating hotel is expected to officially open in October 2018.
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