UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Plans have been put into place to refit the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise liner, which Dubai purchased in 2007, into a floating hotel that is slated to be completed at the end of 2014.
The 300-room hotel will be part of a new Seaport Village project that aims to transform Port Rashid in Dubai into a bustling cruise hub, with lifestyle facilities like bars and restaurants and a Maritime Museum.
The iconic ship and its developing surroundings will provide a unique venue for a wide variety of large-scale function. Earlier this year, there was already a major New Year's Eve party held on board.
"The Queen Elizabeth 2 will be at the heart of Dubai in its permanent position at Port Rashid and contribute to the growth of Dubai as the city continues to develop and expand as a top tourist destination," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Istithmar World and DP World, which owns and operates the Queen Elizabeth 2.
Sulayem also added that they have already been in talks with Jumeirah and two other hotel groups regarding the management of the hotel. Renovations and refurbishments will also be focused on enhancing facilities on board while retaining the legendary ship's strong sense of history.
The ship's main facilities include five restaurants, a casino, a shopping area, a hospital, a cinema, a health club, a library and several bars.