“The only thing QE2 has in common with other ships is that she floats….”
With nine diesel engines each the size of a double-decker bus, an anchor that weighs more than two elephants, and a funnel that’s the same height as the famous Egyptian Sphinx at Giza, everything about the Queen Elizabeth II, or QE2, is large and impressive. Launched on 20 September 1967, the QE2 was a style icon and darling of the rich and famous. In an average year, her passengers enjoyed over 70,000 bottles of champagne and enough fruit juice to fill her swimming pools eight times over.
During almost four decades of service, the QE2 completed 1,400 voyages and 25 around-the-world tours. 2.5 million passengers travelled on her, enjoying an interior that was more akin to a luxury yacht than a passenger liner. During the Falkland’s War, she transported thousands of troops to their far-flung Atlantic battlefield – although, sadly for the troops, they did not get to sample her fabled luxuries: most of her internal fittings were stripped out and replaced with three helicopter pads and berths for 3000 soldiers.
And where is she now?
Now berthed in Dubai’s Mina Rashid marina, the QE2 not only has a new home but also a new purpose: she is the Middle East’s first floating hotel. Painstaking restoration has returned her to the height of her dazzling glory, with the added bonus of all the latest smart technology. There are over a dozen different restaurants and a wealth of entertainment options, as well as a thoughtful, interactive exhibition showcasing the QE2’s history. Meanwhile, the 13 categories of rooms and suites allow guests to enjoy a luxurious stay while revelling in a view of either the Arabian Gulf or Dubai’s skyline.
The QE2 is also available to host weddings, parties and corporate events.