Many cruise liners are likened to luxury hotels, but few are as iconic as the Queen Elizabeth 2. Entering serving in 1969, this legendary vessel — known as the QE2 — sailed under the Cunard flag for nearly 40 years, transporting passengers across the Atlantic (and at least 26 times around the world), and even aiding Britain’s war effort in the Falklands. Purchased upon its retirement for $100 million by the Dubai state company Istithmar World, it languished, a victim of the country’s financial crisis. But times have changed and it is now preparing for new life as a 300-room floating hotel.
According to company Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, “We will preserve its tradition and the way it was.” The majority of the original furniture will be kept, along with the original art collection and historical objects. The ship will be docked in Port Rashid and is expected to start receiving guests in approximately eighteen months.