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Pictures: First look inside Dubai’s QE2 hotel

Pictures: First look inside Dubai’s QE2 hotel

The legendary vessel will soft open on Wednesday after being refurbished as a hotel

Ahead of the world famous Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) liner’s reopening as a hotel, its Dubai government operator PCFC Hotels has given a first look inside the redesigned vessel.

As part of a soft opening this week, the legendary ship will be welcoming its first guests on board to experience a selection of restored rooms and five of the planned 13 restaurants.

The reopening marks a major turnaround for the QE2, which had been thought forgotten after several plans to convert it failed to materialise following a $100m acquisition in 2007 by Dubai World unit Istithmar.

Read: Dubai to reopen world famous QE2 liner as hotel next week

In an announcement PCFC Hotels, which comes under Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation, said it had dedicated more than 2.7 million man hours to a transformation that will see the ship permanently docked in Dubai’s Mina Rashid.

Restoration work for the 13-deck hotel focussed on maintaining interior design features such as period furniture, paintings and memorabilia and the original potholes.

In addition, a number of the original restaurants have retained their same names and décor as seen during the vessel’s 40 years at sea.

“To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team and I,” said PCFC Hotels CEO Hamza Mustafa.

“It is one of Dubai’s most highly anticipated projects and we know that a lot of people are going to be very excited to see her for the first time, or to step back on board the vessel that created so many wonderful memories during her 40 years at sea.”

Adjacent to the hotel’s lobby there is an interactive museum showcasing the QE2 during the 60s when it represented the latest in ship design and technology.

The area features actual and replicated artefacts and reproduced spaces including the bridge, the casino, a first class cabin and the Queen’s Room.

Many of the 242 rooms maintain a cabin-style design with a standard size of 17 square metres and royal suites, which once belonged to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II herself, spanning 76 square metres.

The best flexible rate with breakfast for Wednesday is Dhs649 increasing to Dhs829.50 with taxes.

Overall there are 13 room types including two royal suites named after the queen’s mother and grandmother that offer a “private veranda, conservatory and dining room – in addition to a luxurious bedroom” and can be booked by invitation only.

During the soft launch, restaurants open to guests will include historical lounge and bar The Chart Room, traditional English pub The Golden Lion and family restaurant with terrace The Pavilion. There will also be all-day dining restaurant Lido, cabaret-style lounge with weekly entertainment programme The Grand Lounge and modern afternoon tea venue The Yacht Club.

The hotel’s signature restaurant will be The Queens Grill, offering British fine-dining and a tasting menu of classic dishes from 1969.

Other elements include a number of event and meeting rooms.

A full opening of the ship will be held in October 2018 when a spa and pool deck is expected to be ready to receive guests.

The QE2 first set sail in 1969 and steamed six million miles, carried 2.5 million passengers and was even sent to war.

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