The Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel in Dubai, housed in the authentic historic liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2 Ship), meticulously restored and now moored in Dubai, is undoubtedly one of the most unique and captivating hotels in Dubai. It offers the perfect solution for a stay filled with charm and the opportunity to relive the luxurious ambiance of yesteryears.
The QE2 Ship itself is a true marvel of maritime engineering and luxury travel. Situated in the heart of the bustling port, it now welcomes guests and occasional visitors, allowing them to step back in time and immerse themselves in the allure and grandeur of days gone by. The experience of staying on the QE2 Ship in Dubai, now transformed into the fabulous Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel, promises to be glamorous and unforgettable. Guests can indulge in a world-class selection of fine dining options, accompanied by live entertainment that will leave them enthralled. Moreover, the hotel boasts nice views of the sea and the city, adding to the overall enchantment.
In this guide, we will delve into the intriguing history of the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship, revealing fascinating anecdotes about its past. Additionally, we will provide a review of the hotel’s accommodations, and we’ll offer practical advice on how to visit this extraordinary hotel and how to reach it from downtown Dubai.
Queen Elizabeth 2 Ship History & Trivia
The Queen Elizabeth 2, commonly known as the QE2, was an ocean liner constructed by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland for the Cunard Line. It was launched in 1967 and quickly gained popularity as a preferred mode of transatlantic travel, regularly traversing between Southampton, England, and New York City. For nearly four decades, the QE2 served as a passenger ship, facilitating journeys across the Atlantic and exploring various destinations worldwide, including the Caribbean, South America, and the Far East.
Following the conclusion of its service in the United States, the ship embarked on exotic cruises, notably completing its first round-the-world voyage in 1975. Until the early 2000s, the QE2 proudly held the distinction of being Cunard’s flagship and ranked among the largest passenger liners globally. Renowned for its grandeur, the QE2 showcased opulent amenities such as multiple dining venues, a magnificent ballroom, and a theater.
Distinguishing itself from its predecessors, the QE2 boasted a contemporary design within its interiors, departing from the art deco style previously associated with ships. However, it maintained an elegant ambiance adorned with an extensive collection of artworks, sculptures, bronzes, tapestries, and paintings depicting the royal family. The ship also showcased objects and artwork originating from prior Cunard vessels, including the RMS Mauretania (1906).
Born between the era of transatlantic travel and the rise of air travel, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was designed as a luxury hotel-cruise ship, offering cruise services for most of the year and transatlantic routes with three classes (First, Cabin, and Tourist) according to a set schedule. However, it never provided year-round express route services.
Throughout its eventful history, the QE2 welcomed numerous notable figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, who inaugurated the ship in 1969. Inside the vessel, various silver plaques commemorate visits from members of the royal family and other distinguished individuals worldwide, including South African President Nelson Mandela.
During the Falklands War, the QE2 temporarily served as a troopship before returning to commercial operations. In 2008, it embarked on its final voyage and retired from service, subsequently being sold to a Dubai government-owned company. Extensive restoration work was undertaken, transforming the QE2 into a floating luxury hotel known as the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai.
Presently, the QE2 is moored at Port Rashid in Dubai and has become a popular tourist attraction, affording guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in maritime history while enjoying the modern comforts and amenities offered by a top-rated hotel. The ship not only functions as a hotel but also as a captivating museum, showcasing its splendid interiors and an extensive collection of artworks and period artifacts amassed over its honorable 40-year service. Managed by the ACCOR group, since its inauguration in 2018 the hotel has undergone further renovations and now provides over 400 modern rooms when operating at full capacity.
Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai: Affordable Luxury in the Heart of Dubai
The Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai offers an affordable luxury experience in the vibrant heart of Dubai. Conveniently situated near the city’s major attractions, including the old district of Deira, the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers globally, this hotel provides a prime location for travelers.
Stepping aboard the QE2 is like entering a time capsule. The ship’s original charm has been (albeit in part) meticulously preserved, seamlessly blending the character of the past with the modern design of the renovated cabins, restaurants, and common areas.
The cabins have undergone a remarkable transformation into modern, spacious en suite rooms, some of which offer delightful sea and city views. While the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai caters to a wide range of budgets and preferences, it is not solely a luxury hotel. Guests can select from various room options, including standard cabins, suites, and even a fabulous duplex penthouse with a private terrace and panoramic views.
Each room is tastefully decorated and generously appointed with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and WiFi. Remarkably, rates start at an astonishing $70 per night, providing exceptional value for money. Furthermore, the QE2 boasts an array of dining and bar options. For a truly enjoyable experience, it is highly recommended to book the half-board rate, which includes a satisfying breakfast and dinner.
Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai: Our Review
Staying at the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Dubai is a memorable experience, and what we liked is that it is still quite affordable, even for those on a moderate budget. In Dubai, a city renowned for luxury and opulence, the finest hotels often come with a hefty price tag. However, the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel breaks this trend by offering a good value 4-star accommodation that allows you to immerse yourself in history and character without emptying your wallet.
While it may not rival the service and luxury of the city’s more renowned luxury hotels, the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel provides adequate service at reasonable prices. The rooms are comfortable, and if you can afford it, treating yourself to the fabulous Duplex Suite is well worth it. This suite offers a terrace overlooking the sea and the city, along with two floors of modern luxury and comfort. Alternatively, starting at $200 per night, you can opt for a beautiful Captain’s Room with a balcony, or choose the more modest Deluxe Room City, which lacks a balcony but compensates with several portholes offering views of the city, starting at $120 per night.
For those with a tighter budget, the Classic King Room is the most affordable option. While slightly compact, it is suitable for couples and features a porthole overlooking the sea, all at a rate suitable for smaller budgets, starting at around $70 per night.
As with all Dubai hotels, rates are lowest during the summer months and tend to rise significantly during winter. The highest rates can be expected in November and December when prices can be double or even triple those mentioned earlier. It’s important to book well in advance to secure a reservation at a reasonable price, as last-minute bookings can lead to fully booked accommodations or prices skyrocketing up to ten times higher.
The hotel’s restaurants and bars are also worth a try, as they offer good dining options and entertainment. Moreover, the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel typically hosts an elegant gala evening to celebrate Dubai’s New Year’s Eve, while its restaurants serve high-quality international cuisine throughout the year. Convenient half-board packages are available, including a delightful breakfast and dinner with a generous hot and cold buffet, including vegetarian choices.
Additionally, the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel provides a gym, a small indoor pool, and complimentary shuttle buses to and from Downtown Dubai, ensuring convenient transportation around the city. Private parking is also available free of charge.
How to Get to the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel
The Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel is situated in the Port Rashid area of Dubai, adjacent to the cruise dock. Reaching the hotel is a breeze whether you choose to drive or take a taxi. You can easily rent a car at the airport or from various locations in Dubai (check out my guide to the best Dubai Car Rentals) and drive to the hotel, where ample free private parking is available. Alternatively, you can arrange a comfortable and convenient private transfer from the airport to the hotel.
Please note that the hotel is nestled between the docks of a vast port area, so you won’t find immediate access to shops, avenues, or restaurants. To explore these amenities, you’ll need to rely on a taxi (which is reasonably priced, by the way) or have your own car. The Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service that can transport you to the metro and downtown Dubai, although the frequency of the shuttle is limited to a few trips per day.
The nearest metro stop is Al Ghubaiba Metro Station, but reaching it on foot can be challenging. There is a major road with over 10 lanes that separates you from the station, so it’s advisable to take a short and cheap taxi ride to the metro station.
Are you planning your trip to the UAE? These tips may come in handy:
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