News

QE2 to Become 300-room Luxury Floating Hotel in Dubai’s Port Rashid

QE2 to Become 300-room Luxury Floating Hotel in Dubai’s Port Rashid

Dubai is to relaunch the iconic QE2 cruise liner as a 300-room luxury floating hotel, as part of plans to transform its current home at Port Rashid into the emirate’s newest tourist attraction.

Dubai News Story 6

The 293-metre long vessel was bought from Cunard in June 2007 for around US$100 million by Istithmar, an investment company owned by the government of Dubai.

Originally set to be refurbished as the central attraction in a maritime-themed development on Palm Jumeirah, this plan was dropped as a result of the downturn in Dubai’s property market. The cruise terminal at Dubai’s Port Rashid is now to become the permanent home of the liner, which will be converted into a 300-room luxury hotel, with the terminal developed to include a maritime museum. The refurbishment work is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Matthew Green, Head of Research & Consultancy UAE, CBRE Middle East, said: “Dubai continues to diversify its tourism offer and the spectacle that is the QE2 will be another important draw for visitors to the emirate. To be positioned in the new cruise liner terminal at Port Rashid, the new luxury floating property will aptly sit alongside the proposed maritime museum.

“With tourism numbers already estimated to be up around 10% again this year, it is likely that further hospitality projects will be launched as parties look to exploit the favourable conditions, with demand for now seemingly unabated.”

“The vessel is truly iconic and has a huge following around the world,” said HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Istithmar World. “Our vision is to enhance the facilities on board but retain the very strong sense of history that is a fundamental part of her attraction.”

“Together with the planned Maritime Museum, the QE2 reinforces Port Rashid and Dubai’s status as a leading cruise and maritime tourism destination,” added Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of DP World for the UAE Region. “We are excited about the potential for Port Rashid to further develop as a tourist destination in its own right.”

The 44-year-old QE2 was retired in 2008, making her last commercial voyage from Southampton to Dubai, and has remained moored at Port Rashid since October 2011. The vessel was resurrected as a hospitality venue last year when she played host to a red carpet New Year’s Eve party with celebrities, fireworks and entertainment.

Dubai’s Port Rashid has seen a rapid rise in business from the cruise industry and hosted 108 ships with 396,554 passengers in 2011. In the first six months of 2012, 71 vessels with 275,000 tourists moored in Dubai, with this set to rise to 145 cruise ships and 500,000 passengers by 2015, according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

More in News

Royal Caribbean announces updates to 2021 Summer cruises

Michael FloodSeptember 24, 2020

ITAA Calls for Covid-19 Tests Before Flight Departures

Neil SteedmanSeptember 24, 2020

“Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Apex, arrives in Southampton

Michael FloodSeptember 23, 2020

IATA Calls for Universal Testing to Rebuild Aviation Confidence

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

London Travel Week Will Be Fully Virtual in 2020

Neil SteedmanSeptember 23, 2020

What’s Another Green List?

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Unprecedented Industry Appeal to EC President to End Quarantines and Develop Common EU Testing Protocol

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Register NOW for Distinctly Thai’s Luxury & Romance Virtual Mart

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

FCm Survey Reports Slow Recovery in Business Travel

Neil SteedmanSeptember 22, 2020

Copyright © 2019 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland