The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is set to relaunch as a floating hotel, restaurant and exhibition in Dubai later this week.
The cruise liner made her maiden transatlantic voyage in 1969 from Southampton to New York. The ship was retired in 2008 following 1,400 voyages and hosting almost 2.5 million passengers and is now docked permanently at Mina Rashid in Dubai.
QE2 will open on 18 April 2018, operated by PCFC Hotels, part of the Dubai government’s Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation.
The liner will be opened in stages, the first of which will be the 13 restored rooms and suites, five of the planned 13 restaurants and bars, and the adjacent QE2 Heritage Exhibition.
Accommodation on the 13-deck liner has been restored, maintaining design features, period furniture, paintings and memorabilia, but also modernised. Rooms range from ‘cabin’-style, 17 sq m standard rooms to the 76 sq m royal suites, offering a private veranda, conservatory and dining room.
Several of the original restaurants have also retained the same names and décor. The liner will have 13 bars and restaurants in total: the Chart Room, a historical lounge and bar; the Golden Lion, a traditional English pub; the Pavilion, a family restaurant with a terrace overlooking the marina; Lido, the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant; the Grand Lounge; and the Yacht Club offering afternoon tea. The hotel’s signature restaurant is the Queen’s Grill, offering British fine-dining dishes and a tasting menu recreating classic dishes from 1969.
Adjacent to the hotel lobby is the QE2 Exhibition detailing the liner’s 39-year history. The QE2 will be fully opened in October 2018.
Hamza Mustafa, chief executive of PCFC Hotels, said: “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.”