Britain’s famed Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship is finally open to the public as a floating luxury hotel moored off at Mina Rashid in Dubai.
Queen Elizabeth 2 also known as QE2 was built by Cunard and put to sea in 1969. The ship has been named after the wife of King George VI, not the current British monarch, hence the number rather than the Roman numeral.
The luxury ship traveled some six million miles in decades of service carrying 2.5 million passengers and crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times. Britain expropriated the ship as a troop carrier for the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982. In 1987 the ship won the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. Cunard sold the QE2 to an arm of the state-run conglomerate Dubai World for 50 million pounds ($100 million) in 2007. In 2015, PCFC Hotels, the Dubai government’s Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corp. took over the project and reinvented the legendary vessel as the latest must-see tourism destination, in a city renowned for its world-class attractions.
The refurbished ship has retained the original porthole windows in the rooms, as well as the interior design features, including the period furniture, renowned paintings, and famous memorabilia. Some of the rooms have a balcony, allowing guests to enjoy views of the marina. Two of the rooms, said to be the “gem in the crown” of the vessel and named after the Queen’s mother and grandmother, offer a private veranda, conservatory, and dining room, aside from a luxurious bedroom. Adjacent to the hotel lobby is the QE2 Exhibition – an interactive museum providing insights into the QE2 from the 60’s when she was a pioneer in design, technology, and lifestyle — words often used to describe the city she resides in today. Around seven of the QE2’s 13 decks are under operation, with 224 cabins available. Prices range from $150 a night in the simplest berthing to $15,000 a night for the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary suites. A number of the restaurants have also kept the original names and retained the same décor as the vessel’s former years. The ship also features shops run by Dubai Duty Free, the government-run conglomerate that had $1.93 billion of sales in 2017, with 9.7 million cans of beer and 7.4 million bottles of liquor and wine sold. Even with the major restoration work already completed, the vessel’s features, facilities, and amenities will be unveiled to the public in various phases, with the soft opening slated this Wednesdy.
The grand launch will take place in October 2018.
For details, visit: https://www.qe2.com/