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Dubai's Floating 'Queen Elizabeth II' Hotel to Open This Month

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By Bridget Hallinan

Just when you thought Dubai was done opening tourist attractions at a breakneck pace, there's another one slated for this month. The Queen Elizabeth II, which has been docked in Port Rashid since 2008, will soon complete its glamorous transformation from decommissioned luxury cruise liner into a floating hotel and museum. The newly minted hotel will open to the public starting April 2018, before a grand opening scheduled later this year in October, according to Bloomberg, when it will debut 224 refurbished rooms and suites, 13 restaurants and bars, a movie theater, and more. Basic cabins will be available for bookings starting April 18, priced under AED700 (under $200), per The Guardian.

The ship's renovation has been a long time coming. After 39 years of service, the Queen Elizabeth II took her last journey from Southhampton, England, to Port Rashid, Dubai, in 2008—and has been there ever since, unused. Initially, there were plans to immediately begin remodeling the QEII into a floating luxury hotel, according to a Telegraph. However, the global recession quickly put a damper on the project, reports Lonely Planet, and the ship's engine was turned off in 2013, prompting the structure to suffer damage in the hot climate. Thankfully, the restoration gained momentum again this past February, and now, rooms are already available to book online for the April opening.

In addition to the previously mentioned updates, the hotel's official site also lists a spa and pool deck, an interactive exhibition/museum on the QE2’s history, 25 conference rooms, and a "chic shopping arcade" as part of the relaunch. In other words? The ship is practically about to become a floating village, and you'll never have to leave. Though not all of the renovated facilities will be ready in time for the April 18 opening, according to Gulf News, guests will be able to experience five of the 13 restaurants and bars, as well as "a selection of restored rooms." (Some of the original design aspects have even been preserved, including portholes, period furniture, and artwork.) It all sounds ultra luxe and unabashedly Dubai, which begs the question: What will the Gulf city debut next?

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: Dubai's Floating 'Queen Elizabeth II' Hotel to Open This Month
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