Dubai to Transform QE2 into Floating Hotel

July 12, 2012 by

It was only last month when we wrote about Dubai’s plan to open an underwater hotel. Now comes news that the City of Gold is slated to open another lodging option for water-lovers.

Plans have recently been announced that the storied Cunard ocean liner, the Queen Elizabeth 2, will be converted into a floating hotel.

The 45-year-old ship was purchased five years ago for $100 million at the height of Dubai’s economic boom, and has been sitting in the emirate’s Port Rashid virtually untouched. Original plans saw the QE2 transformed into a luxury floating hotel docked on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s palm-shaped man-made islands.

The plan has been scaled back since then, with only 300 of the ship’s 1000 rooms scheduled to house passengers. The hotel will also call Port Rashid, a currently unsavory area distanced away from the sheen of Dubai’s tourist center, home. But to coincide with the QE2’s opening, Port Rashid is also scheduled for a facelift, transforming it into a tourist hub complete with a maritime museum.

But perhaps the biggest change in plans is the idea to forgo a radical makeover, and leave the QE2 largely how it looked when it sailed the seas. The ship will retain many of the original fittings, and public areas, such as restaurants and entertainment halls, will be largely left alone.

All renovations on the QE2 and Port Rashid are scheduled to be complete in 18 months.

photo credit: easylocum, Flickr

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