She may not be sailing the high seas anymore, but the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner is set to hold tourists once again, this time as a 300-room hotel moored in a Dubai port. The company that owns the QE2 bought the ship in 2007 for $100 million and hasn’t done much with the beloved boat since then.
Istithmar World PJSC will renovate the QE2 to ready it for guests while preserving the interior to keep the charm that made it such a hit with travelers.
“We realized that a lot of people love the ship as it is,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said at a briefing in the emirate today, via Bloomberg. “We will fix what needs to be fixed, but we will preserve its tradition and the way it was.”
The QE2 first hit open water in 1969, when it sailed from Southampton, England to New York City. It completed more than five million miles at sea, was the victim of a bomb hoax and ransom demand in 1972 and made headlines when it hit rocks near Martha’s Vineyard in 1992. It also survived Hurrican Luis during a westbound Atlantic crossing in 1995, after being hit by a 95-foot wave. It made its final sea voyage in 2008.
Now that it’ll be a stay-at-home ship, moored at Port Rashid, it’ll serve as a maritime attraction. Inside it boasts five restaurants, a cinema, a casino, a health club, a shopping area, a hospital, library and several bars.