The QE2 rose to prominence when it set sail in 1969 as an emblem of Great Britain. For almost 40 years, the ship traversed the globe on more than 1,400 voyages. In its seafaring history, the QE2 circumnavigated the globe 25 times, hosted 2.5 million passengers, and sailed more than 6 million nautical miles.
In 2008, the ship took its last voyage to Dubai. The city had spent $100 million on the ship with the intent to quickly transform it into a floating hotel. But a global recession stalled plans, and the QE2 has sat in Dubai’s port for the past 10 years.
This week, the hotel finally opens with 224 rooms and suites, 13 restaurants and bars, a movie theater, and an exhibition detailing the ship’s history. Visitors will be able to step onboard the boat, docked permanently at Mina Rashid, just to sample the cuisine at a few of the restaurants.
“To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team and I,” Hamza Mustafa, chief executive of PCFC Hotels, said in a statement. “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.”
The QE2’s sister ship, the Queen Mary, is also a floating hotel and tourist attraction. It has been docked in Long Beach, California, since 1972.
Cabins are available from April 18, starting at $190 (AED 700) per night for the soft opening. The hotel will host its grand opening in October.