Drinks and Dinner on Queen Elizabeth 2 at Dubai
The QE2 is a monumental destination steeped in British heritage. With a storied history spanning 50 years, she continues her legacy as a 13 deck hotel, dining, entertainment, and events destination - docked permanently at Dubai’s Mina Rashid.
The Queen Elizabeth II was launched on 30 September 1967. Prince Phillip and 30,000 spectators including the Queen herself witnessed the launch. It was the Queen herself who christened the liner with the words:
“I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second. May God bless her and all who sail in her.”
The ship was launched as a luxury passenger and cruise ship. The ship soon became an iconic treasure and in an age when the Beatles ruled the roost and man set foot on the moon, the QE2 held her own. Her career as a transatlantic liner between Southampton, UK, and New York lasted over 39 years. She crossed the Atlantic 812 times taking five days for each trip.
She was smaller than her predecessors in length, breadth, draft, and tonnage but this was a boon as she could navigate the Panama and Suez canals. She was powered by nine engines which gave her a top speed of 34 knots.
The QE2 completed 1,400 voyages and in the process covered nearly 6 million nautical miles and was home for holidays to almost 2.5 million passengers. She was requisitioned as a troop carrier during the Falkland War in 1982. Carrying troops along with the Carrier Task Force to throw the Argentina troops out of the Falklands.
She completed 25 tours around the world and was retired in 2008 after 39 years. The ship was to be put on scrap but an enterprising Shiekh from Dubai bought it and converted it into a luxury hotel and entertainment center in Dubai. The ship had a tonnage of 70,000 and carry 2600 passengers in luxury and comfort.
Though the ship was bought in 2009, financial problems dogged the opening and it was opened to the public only in 2018.
The QE2 Today-Dining
Queen Elizabeth 2 reopened as a floating hotel on 18 April 2018. It underwent a massive refurbishment program and now has become an iconic part of the Dubai scenario.
The QE2 is an iconic destination for dining, nightlife, and events. You can get authentic British cuisine and watering holes as well as trendy outdoor bars and restaurants. Many of them were visited by the Queen herself. This lends nostalgia to the floating hotel ship.
All the eateries and bars are open to both in-house guests and visitors.
Lido and the Pavillion
These are two iconic places to dine.
The Pavillion. Located on the lower aft deck the Pavilion is an al fresco dining experience. It gives you a breathtaking view of Mina Rashid Yacht Club and Dubai's glistening skyline. It offers a seasonal menu of fresh Aegean delicacies from lunch through to dinner. There is also a refreshing drinks menu that lets a customer choose crafty concocted cocktails and mocktails.
Lido. This opens right from breakfast to dinner and is located on the Quarter Deck. The restaurant is a chic place and has the original setting with large floor to ceiling windows and fresh marble flooring. It serves a breakfast buffet with English and Arabic delicacies. The lunch is an international buffet or à la carte; Choice is with the patron.
There are three of them as the Yacht Club, The Golden Lion, and the Chart Room.
a)The Yacht Club is a bar restored to its former décor. The original bar is the counter. The terrace, which is open during the cooler months, commands views of Dubai’s impressive skyline.
b) The Golden Lion is like a traditional pub. It’s almost like an authentic British pub. Here is a place where you can sip a selection of draught beers and enjoy a game at the pool or try your aim with darts.
There is also a collection of commemorative shields from the QE2’s ports of call adorning the bar.
c) The Chart Room is another place to stimulate nostalgia. It a fine place to meet, relax over a bottle of wine or craft beer. A snack menu offers a selection of salads, mezze, burgers and the classic British fish and chips. It is located on the Quarter Deck. The bar has the original glass route-map still in place.
The entry is free. However, you can book a stay in one of the luxury cabins and in case you have a fair companion the better the stay. I can't think of a better place to pass a day or two of living old memories or building fresh ones with a fair companion. Don't take me to task for it!
The last thing is that this iconic ship has a home, I hope a permanent one in Dubai.