Lonely Planet Writer

The QE2 cruise ship is to start a new life as a floating hotel in Dubai

It has taken almost a decade, but it looks like the world-famous Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) cruise ship is set to become a permanent hotel and museum in Dubai. While there has been no official announcement yet, a brand new website, has just gone live, and it states that Queen Elizabeth 2 Dubai is coming soon, and it will offer ‘a new level of hospitality’ and give customers a ‘royal experience.’

The QE2 arriving into Dubai in November 2008. Image: Barcroft Media/Getty Images

The QE2 first set sail in 1969 and has carried 2.5 million passengers and covered almost six million miles in her stellar career. She left Southampton in England amid great fanfare, and arrived in Port Rashid, Dubai, in November 2008 at the end of her final voyage. There were grand plans for her to be rebuilt and re-open as a floating hotel at that stage, but these were scuppered by the effects of the global recession.

Inside the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) cruise liner as it rests in port in Dubai in November 2008. Image: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

However, it has been clear for a while that something is stirring. The ocean liner has been quietly undergoing a major refurbishment, and cranes and construction and cleaning crews have been spotted working on the ship. Signs pointing to ‘Queen Elizabeth 2, hotel main entrance’ and “visitor parking” are on display, using the same logo that is displayed on the website, and the old cruise terminal has been rebranded with Queen Elizabeth 2 signs.

The QE2’s final departure in 2008 from Southampton, England. Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

It is believed that the ship will become a floating hotel and museum, displaying memorabilia from one of the most famous cruise ships to ever set sail. Reports say that it may even open in the first half of the year. To keep updated on further news, check out the website here.