Yesterday it was announced that The Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) will open to the public on 18 April, 2019. The famous ship is steeped in history, and will now become a “floating hotel”, as well as a destination for dining and entertainment in Dubai.
Here’s what you need to know about the highly anticipated opening.
Dubai bought the ship ten years ago
According to Bloomberg, Dubai bought the The Queen Elizabeth II over a decade ago for $100 million. Hamza Mustafa, CEO 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. “
It started out as a transatlantic ocean liner
Originally built in Clydebank, Scotland, it was the last oil-fired passenger shop to cross the Atlantic.
QE2 under construction
It took over 2.7 million man-hours to transform the ship
The 13-deck hotel has been meticulously restored with period furniture, well-known paintings and the original porthole windows.
It’s a beautiful blend of old and new
While a lot of care has been taken to bring the ship back to its former glory – including having the restaurants keep their original names and décor – you can expect plenty of mod cons. Original restaurants include The Chart Room (a sophisticated lounge bar), The Golden Lion (a traditional English pub), The Pavilion (a restaurant with views over the marina), The Grand Lounge (a cabaret restaurant), Yacht Club (for traditional afternoon tea). The signature restaurant will be The Queen’s Grill, with British fine-dining from 1969.
There’s a huge choice of rooms
In total there are 13 different room categories, including cabin-style rooms at 17m², up to royal suites covering a whopping 76m².
QE2 Captain's Club Room
There will be a QE2 Exhibition
An interactive museum will give you a throwback to the 60s when the ship first launched.
The ship is permanently docked in Dubai’s Mina Rashid
While The Queen Elizabeth II will open its doors on the 18 April, 2018, this is a soft opening, marking the first of several stages where passengers will be able to try some of the restaurants. The grand launch will be held in October this year.