Middle East Cruise News

QE2 returns to Port Rashid after ‘shower and a shave’ drydock and propeller removal

The former Cunard ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2, now officially re-named ‘Queen Elizabeth 2 Dubai’, has been towed from Dubai Drydocks back to Port Rashid for the next stage in her life as a floating hotel.

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Cunard’s former QE2 is now the ‘Queen Elizabeth 2 DUBAI’.

The ocean liner entered drydock last week for what one Dubai Drydocks official described as a simple ‘shower and a shave’ clean up and repainting ahead of her official opening, expected in mid-April.

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QE2 receives ‘shower and a shave’ in Dubai Drydocks

However, the work done to QE2 appears to have been move extensive, with her propellers having been removed during the drydocking.

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QE2’s propellers have been removed during the final conversion work

According to dockside workers at Terminal 1 (where she will be permanently berthed as a floating hotel), the ship’s immense propellers will be put on display for boarding guests.

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Cunard’s famous logo is removed and replaced on QE2’s superstructure

Another significant change made to QE2 ahead of her opening as the QE2 Hotel is the re-branding of her name.

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Dubai Tourism has allowed PCFC Hotels to use its famous ‘Dubai’ typeface in the ship’s new name.

The Cunard logo on the ship’s side has been replaced with a new Queen Elizabeth 2 logo, and her name has been changed from Queen Elizabeth 2 to ‘Queen Elizabeth 2 Dubai’, with the city’s name using the same logo as the Dubai Tourism department.

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Final touches will now be made to the ship’s interior ahead of her opening. The reservations team at PCFC Hotels, the ship’s new operators, have said the soft opening will happen in the second or third week of April.

The ship’s journey from Cunard flagship to Dubai-based floating hotel has been a long and arduous one, with the threat of scrapping in Alang always hanging over her. The ship was purchased by the investment arm of Dubai World in 2008 for conversion to floating hotel at Palm Island.

That plan fell through when the 2008 recession hit and she was placed in cold lay-up in Dubai Drydocks for several years. In 2015 she was moved to Port Rashid and Al Shaffa Construction announced they’d secured the contract for her conversion.

That was the last hard news about QE2 and her fate until she was towed to drydock last week.

While QE2 Hotel is expected to retain much of the art deco charm of the QE2 did as an ocean liner, according to PCFC Hotels’, she will be operated as a ‘smart budget hotel’. The recent work by Huawei on installing a world-class WiFi system on-board would seem to support this intention.

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