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QE2 celebrates 4th anniversary of launch as floating hotel in Dubai

by Dubai Forum
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By Mohammed Ahmed Gaballah 

DUBAI, 25th August, 2022 (WAM) — While Buckingham Palace recently concluded its celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the ship, Queen Elizabeth II (QE2), docked in Port Rashid, is gearing up to celebrate the fourth anniversary of its launch as a floating luxury hotel in Dubai.

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) visited the QE2 and explored its history at its exhibition and museum.

The QE2, the largest floating hotel in Dubai, was launched by Queen Elizabeth II in 1967 and began cruising the Atlantic Ocean two years after its launch. The ship has completed 25 international journeys and has crossed the Atlantic over 806 times. It completed its last journey on 11th November, 2008, travelling from the UK to the UAE.

WAM’s tour of the legendary ship began by meeting the ship’s officials. “Since we set foot on the harbour, we smelled the old wooden oak, floating with its unique aesthetics on the waters of Dubai after its renovation costing some US$100 million, which restored it to its former glory and preserved its interior containing old furniture and paintings.

“We sailed on a tour full of magic and treasures. We saw a picture of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother valued at ₤2.6 million, and another picture of Queen Elizabeth II drawn by artist Edward Halliday valued at some ₤1.5 million. The manufacturer of the QE2 also presented an old wooden model of the ship, Mauritania, measuring some 6 metres, which is claimed to have been made in 1906 and is estimated to cost nearly ₤4 million. There was also a lavish bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II dating back to 1969.”

In her statement to WAM, Constantia Bagiorocchi, Hotel Manager on the QE2, said the ship was restored in October 2018 to become a floating hotel in Dubai, after nearly 2.5 million passengers, including politicians and celebrities, travelled on it to over 200 ports around the world. The list of passengers included Nelson Mandela, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor, she added.

From the inside, the ship is characterised by the same amount of detail, such as its rudder, cockpit, barricades, engine room, and relaxation and living facilities. It has 447 rooms and suites, and its two Royal Invitational suites include a private balcony, a conservatory, a dining room and a luxurious bedroom.

The ship’s original round windows add to a feeling of the sea in its attractive renovated guest rooms, and its original restaurants have kept their original names and decorations. The ship has also preserved the fragrance of its original elements while being equipped with the latest technologies.

The QE2 was the last oil-powered passenger liner ship to cross the Atlantic until it was refurbished with a modern diesel engine in 1986, operating as a transatlantic and cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. The British vessel was designed for crossing oceans, crossing the Atlantic from her home in Southampton to New York until she was succeeded by Queen Mary 2 in 2004.

According to the World Travel Awards, Port Rashid has been the leading tourist destination in the Middle East over the past years, so the QE2 is currently hosting many events and parties, and everyone is blessing this royal ship, showcasing the pages of history and unforgettable scenes witnessed on board the ship, which has accumulated many great memories.

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