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The QE2 Hotel at dock in Dubai
Last updated: 31 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Nicola Chilton

Surprisingly under the radar for such an icon, the original QE2 cruise liner (now retired) sits quietly in Port Rashid. Permanently harboured in Dubai, it’s been transformed now into a luxury hotel.

Her 215 rooms, spread over 13 decks, harken back to her life on the open seas, with interiors that still have a touch of the 1980s, original art pieces, quirky details and carpets from her heyday.

Rooms range from cosy (i.e. tiny) to the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary Royal Suites, once reserved for members of the royal family, with a conservatory and private terrace.

‘Dubai’s oldest pub’, the Golden Lion, is also onboard, and sundowners at The Pavilion, on the aft deck, harkens back to the days of maritime glamour.

While the QE2 may not have the facilities offered by many of Dubai’s beach resorts, you’re staying in an icon of maritime history. Guests can also join one of the excellent heritage tours, led by a former Cruise Director, who’ll regale you with stories from his time onboard.

Surrounding area

Being harboured in Port Rashid isn’t ideal – there’s nothing to speak of in the vicinity ­– but you’re not staying here for the location.

However, you do get views of the Dubai skyline from the deck, you’re surrounded by water, and it’s just a short drive to Dubai Creek, the Al Fahidi heritage district, and the bustling streets of Deira.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers*
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Old Dubai [walking]

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[1.4 miles]

A walk around ‘Old Dubai’ and an abra ride on the Creek offers a fascinating glimpse of the city as it would have been before the skyscrapers arrived.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Burj Khalifa

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[7.2 miles]

At 828m, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. Head up to the world’s highest outdoor observation deck for exceptional views of the city and desert beyond, and to learn Dubai history along the way.

Best for ages: 4+ | £30

Helicopter flights over Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[22.5 miles]

Get you up close to Dubai’s world-famous landmarks, and put the sprawling desert city in perspective with an unforgettable helicopter flip.

Best for ages: 12+ | £160 | 1 hour

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Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

The QE2 Hotel at dock in Dubai

QE2 Heritage tours

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[0 miles]

Permanently moored in Dubai as a hotel, non-guests can join the entertaining and informative heritage tours led by the ship’s former Cruise Director to learn about the QE2’s role in the Golden Age of travel.

Best for ages: 13+ | £38

Website >
Overview >
colorful shoes in souk Dubai,United Arab Emirates

Textile Souk

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[1.4 miles]

Running alongside Dubai Creek, the main lane of the souk is firmly for tourists and vendors can be quite persistent. Head one street back to find the real textile shops that cater to local tailors, with hues of every colour, shimmering satins, thousands of sequins, and the classic blacks and whites that are used to make Emirati traditional dress.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free

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Overview >
Variety of spices and herbs on the arab street market stall. Dubai Spice Souk, United Arab Emirates.

Spice Souk

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[1.6 miles]

While some stores feel a little touristy, locals really do stock up on spices here too. From Iranian saffron to piles of chilis, cloves and spice mixes, the shopkeepers will be happy to tell you about their stock and how you can use the spices back home.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free

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Gold on the famous "Golden souk" in Dubai Deira market. Deira is an old commercial center of Dubai with the biggest street market.

Gold Souk

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[1.9 miles]

Regulated by the Dubai government to ensure authenticity, dazzling chains, earrings, headdresses and more drip from the shop windows, and good deals can be had if you know what you’re looking for.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay


United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai offers year-round sun, sand and sea, with a unique combination of Arabian culture, mega-malls and audacious architecture.

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Round-ups that include this placetostay