Retired ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is re-opening as a floating hotel that will be docked permanently in Dubai- 10 years after completing its farewell voyage around the U.K. The ship had a soft opening on April 18, ahead of the full grand opening on October 2018. It is now officially open to the public for room bookings, restaurant reservations and heritage tours. QE2” was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and 30,000 spectators on September 20 at John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank in 1967, almost four-decades before being sold to Dubai government investment company Istithmar World in 2007 for a sum of $100 million. The ship can cater to 4,000 people in a single day.
It has 224 refurbished rooms and suites, with three decks of executive rooms and suites, live entertainment, a theatre and cinema in addition to 13 restaurants. The ship has hosted notable passengers like Nelson Mandala, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor and Buzz Aldrin. The QE2 was transformed into a troop ship to serve in the Falkland’s war in May 1982, and in 2000 it completed five million miles at sea before becoming the world’s longest serving express liner in 2004. QE2 Shipping LLC and PCFC Hotels are both wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Government of Dubai’s Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC).