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Historic QE2 cruise ship becomes world's largest floating nightclub in Dubai

Author: Kendall Hayes

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QE2 - or Queen Elizabeth 2 - was once the pride of joy of the Cunard cruise fleet - but now the famous ship is enjoying a new lease of life as the world’s largest nightclub.

QE2 enjoyed a three-day opening ceremony under its new guise as Float Dubai - the newest nighttime hotspot in the UAE.

Despite looking quite different today, the ship was originally built for Cunard back in 1969 as both a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship.

Queen Elizabeth 2 offered voyages from the United Kingdom that had many A-listers onboard and sailed over five million miles during her 39 years of service.

In the '80s, the QE2 ship launched a new fly-cruise package with Concorde dubbed “the ultimate package” as well as functioning as a troopship in 1982 during the Falklands War, with 3,000 troops onboard.

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In 1986, Queen Elizabeth 2's original steam engines were replaced with nine petrol-diesel engines - the size of double-decker buses.

However, in 1998, Cunard was sold to Carnival Corporations, with whom the ship stayed until it was sold again in 2008 to Dubai World, and its days of sailing the high seas were over.

- READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Cunard -

Dubai World planned to convert it into a 500-room floating hotel but plans suffered years of delays due to the 2008 financial crisis.

In fact, there were rumours the project would be scrapped altogether because of the financial complications, but in 2015 DP World Chairman, Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem confirmed that the project would go ahead.

The erstwhile QE2 went on to enjoy a multi-million-dollar refurbishment and finally opened as a hotel in April 2018.

Queen Elizabeth 2: The ship was originally built for Cunard back in 1969. Credit: Cunard

The floating hotel is now docked in the port of Rashid in Dubai and boasts 215 rooms.

The nightclub Float Dubai is the newest addition to the establishment and celebrated its opening night on October 14.

- READ MORE: Dubai holidays: Top five cultural delights to see and experience -

At the glittering event, there was a multitude of entertainment including a DJ, dancers, hula-hoopers, acrobats and more.

Drinks at the night did not come cheap - according to The Times, 200 ounces of Dom Perignon Rose Gold champagne cost more than $107,000 (£77,528)!

A headliner also caught the public’s attention - famous rapper, DaBaby performed for the nightclub.

QE2: The floating hotel is now docked in the port of Rashid in Dubai and boasts 215 rooms. Credit: Float Dubai/Facebook

The club is bound to become a must-see when in Dubai. It's designed with a capacity for 1,000 people - more than any other ship’s nightclub.

The venue’s website claims: “Float delivers a unique space in the present onboard the Queen Elizabeth II, a vessel steeped in the history and culture of the past, and deploys technologies of the future to guarantee an experience you won’t forget.”

- READ MORE: 'Hello Sailor!' Actress Celia Imrie on 'perfect' cruises with Cunard -

COVID-19 restrictions, according to The Times, required attendees of the opening to reserve tables, with a minimum purchase of $1,100 (£797).

Guests were also not allowed to stand up or dance during the opening, despite the event taking place in a dramatic and showy club environment.

After the three-day grand opening, there were no additional announcements on the club’s “Events” page, until yesterday.

QE2: Entertainment included a DJ, dancers, hula-hoopers, acrobats and more. Credit: Float Dubai/Facebook

Float Dubai announced that clothing designer turned DJ, Mr. Levier will perform this Thursday night on the QE2.

The club also announced today that popular Middle East and Parisian DJs, Saifandsound and DJ KEZA will perform at Float Dubai this Friday night (October 22).

- READ MORE: Best winter sun cruise destinations from Dubai & the Canaries -

What's more, the club’s Instagram page posted that they will also host an event this upcoming Saturday night (October 23) with DJ Devon Kosoko.

The QE2 cruise ship may now look different, have a new owner, a new purpose, and a new name, but the history that made the ship what it is will always give it the power to thrive.

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