Cruise Ship Queen Elizabeth 2 to Become Dubai Floating Hotel
Dubai purchased the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) cruise ship from Cunard cruise line for $100 million in 2007. An official decision on what to do with the liner have been decided on with plans to transform it into a floating hotel fitted with many of the vessel’s original furnishings.
The ship will remain in the downtown Port Rashid facility to serve as a tourist attraction alongside a projected maritime museum and an expanding cruise ship terminal complex.
The newly-announced plans are slightly different than initially proposed. Before Dubai’s economy took a turn for the worse, developers intended on carrying out an extensive overhaul on the luxury liner and converting it into an exclusive hotel docked by one of the sheikdom’s manmade islands. The chairman of Istithmar World – the ship’s owner – said he expects the 300-room hotel to open within 18 months, according to the Washington Post. The company realized visitors want to see the QE2 as it originally looked, so does not expect to carry out major renovations or remove fixtures still onboard.
Since its arrival in November 2008, the fate of the ship has been the subject of scrutiny. Officials have been hesitant to address questions about its future, even as it sat unused. Suggestions about selling it for scrap have been circulating for years.
Concerns about the cost of converting the QE2 into a working hotel has been dismissed by the ship’s owner, although they declined to say who was paying. Neither Istithmar nor the port operator DP World is paying for the project.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II launched the QE2 in 1967. Since it went into service in 1969, the QE2 has made at least 26 round-the-world voyages.