Cruise Industry

When will the QE2 Hotel in Dubai open?

Editor’s note: Staff at QE2 Dubai confirmed on April 10th that the floating hotel will in fact open on the 18th, just as we guessed below.

It’s the number one question that every cruise ship enthusiast and ocean liner aficionado has been asking for weeks: when will QE2 be officially opened as a floating hotel in Dubai?

The answer is that no one knows, except PCFC Hotels, the new operators of the ship, and even they may not have an exact idea as final touches are still being made to the ship’s staterooms and common areas, and the contractor is likely unable to commit to a set date.

However, reading between the lines, and taking upcoming cruise ship visits into account, it’s reasonable to assume that the official opening will occur on the evening of the 18th of April.

This guesswork is based on two main factors.

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First, when previously contacted by Cruise Arabia & Africa, PCFC Hotels said that the QE2 Hotel would open “in the second or third week of April”.

Second, QE2’s replacement flagship in the Cunard fleet, Queen Mary 2, the ocean liner that superseded her as the only passenger ship offering a regular trans-Atlantic service, will be in Dubai overnight on April 18th.

Queen Mary 2 is calling in Dubai as part of her 35-night Singapore to Southampton grand voyage, an itinerary that is also available as a shorter two week Singapore to Dubai and Dubai to Southampton cruise.

Given Cunard’s history of bringing its most iconic ships together for major celebratory events, it’s not unreasonable to expect that QE2 may officially begin her ‘new life’ on the night that Cunard’s current flagship is in port.

It would be the perfect media moment for PCFC Hotels and would provide Cunard with the closure it needs, following the bad publicity that arose in the British press during QE2’s long-awaited conversion.

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The line did something similar when they sold QE2 out of the fleet, with a tandem Atlantic crossing of QE2 and QM2 on her final homeward voyage to the UK. She was then handed over to Dubai World Holdings and sailed to Dubai.

That was in 2008, just before the final crash, which threw a spanner in the works and delayed Dubai World’s plans for the ship.

Now, Ports, Customs and Freezone Corporation (PCFC), the new holding corporation under which DP World (operators of Dubai Cruise Terminal), Drydocks World (where the ship was recently drydocked) and PCFC Hotels operate, has made her ready for her next chapter.

#stillmakinghistory is the hashtag being used by QE2 Dubai’s official pages on Facebook and Instagram, where images of the ship’s Yacht Club and one of her former Queen’s Grill cabins have been shared.

It seems that history may be made on April 18th when Queen Mary 2 cruises from Dubai, with the ocean liner that she replaced opening its doors for the first time as a floating hotel.

A spokesperson for PCFC told Cruise Arabia & Africa that “we don’t have any event so far on that date”, but similar information was provided just days before QE2 was moved to Dubai Drydocks in late March.

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