THE QE2 OPENS IN DUBAI
The legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 is starting a new chapter in her storied history as a floating hotel, dining and entertainment destination in Dubai
A brief history
On September 20 1967, Queen Elizabeth named the QE2 after her mother in the company of Prince Phillip and 30,000 spectators arrived at John Brown’s shipyard on Clydebank in Scotland. On 2 May 1969, she made her maiden transatlantic voyage.
In her lifetime, the QE2 would complete 1,400 voyages, sail some 6 million nautical miles and play gracious host to almost 2.5 million passengers. She would complete 25 tours around the world and, after 39 years, retire in 2008 to join Dubai as a prized and prestigious attraction.
The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) will open its doors to the public on the 18th of April 2018 following highly anticipated international interest.
PCFC Hotels – part of the Dubai government’s Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation – has reinvented the legendary vessel as the latest must-see tourism destination, in a city renowned for its world-class attractions.
The world-famous cruise liner, which has a history spanning 5 decades, is now docked permanently at Mina Rashid, where her dining, accommodation and entertainment attractions will be unveiled. Her opening marks the first phase – a “soft opening”- of several stages in which segments of the liner will be opened and released for a unique experience capturing all that was grand about her forty years of service. In this first phase, she will be welcoming passengers on board to experience a selection of beautifully restored rooms and suites, to discover 5 of the planned 13 restaurants and bars and explore her rich history in the adjacent QE2 Heritage Exhibition.
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.
We are especially thankful to our Chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem whose vision and determination to give her a second life has come to fruition. His passion for the Queen Elizabeth 2 and all that she represents means that she can continue to deliver the grandeur that she stood for, within a new special location at the heart Mina Rashid, in Dubai.
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. It has been an honor to work on this wonderful project and to help ensure that our lovely Lady lives up to her new slogan: still making history.”
The 13-deck hotel has been thoughtfully restored to her former glory – maintaining her most loved interior design features – including her period furniture, renowned paintings and famous memorabilia. The original porthole windows still add a maritime feel to the attractive modernized guest rooms and a number of her original restaurants have retained the same names and décor as her former years. Whilst extensively preserving her authentic elements, she has been fully equipped with all the latest technology.
Adjacent to the hotel lobby is the QE2 Exhibition – an interactive museum that showcases the QE2 during the 60’s when she was a pioneer in design, technology and lifestyle – words often used to describe the city she resides in today.
From small but beautifully designed ‘cabin’ style Standard Rooms starting at 17m², to the 76m² Royal Suites belonging to the Queen herself – the QE2 will offer a selection of 13 room and suite categories for Passengers to experience.
The gem in the crown of the QE2 are the two Royal Suites named after the Queen’s mother and grandmother. These suites offer a private veranda, conservatory and dining room – in addition to a luxurious bedroom. Highly personalised amenities are included for Passengers who can book the suite by invitation only.
During the soft launch of the QE2, Passengers can experience some of the ship’s original restaurants including The Chart Room – a sophisticated and historical lounge and bar; The Golden Lion – a traditional English pub and potentially one of Dubai’s oldest; The Pavilion – a family restaurant with an expansive terrace overlooking the marina; Lido – the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant; The Grand Lounge – a cabaret-style lounge with a weekly entertainment programme; and the Yacht Club – a chic rendition of the former venue as well as a unique take on the traditional afternoon tea.
The hotel’s signature restaurant is The Queens Grill which offers a refined selection of British fine-dining dishes as well as a tasting menu that recreates a classic selection of dishes from 1969.
The QE2 is home to a number of unique event and meeting room spaces, most notably The Queen’s Room – an inimitable ballroom unlike any other in the city.
The grand launch of the QE2 will take place in October 2018.