Today, QE2 Holdings  announced its appointment of COSCO Shipyard Group, a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, to complete the refurbishment of the QE2 into a luxury floating hotel – taking the ship into the next chapter of its illustrious history.

The cruise ship, which hosted kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and celebrities throughout its legendary 40-year history, will depart from Dubai and arrive in COSCO Shipyard’s facility in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. 

Once there, it will receive a thorough revitalization and makeover that is scheduled for completion by 2015. The existing 990 staterooms  onboard the cruise ship will be converted into 400 premium all-suites ranging from 60 to 150 square metres

COSCO Shipyard will be responsible for all the technical repairs and coordinate with an appointed interior renovation contractor to revamp the accommodation and ballroom, as well as the refitting of seven restaurants, 10 lounges, a cinema, a maritime museum displaying QE2 memorabilia, and a shopping mall.

Mr Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of QE2 Holdings and Dubai’s Drydocks World, said, “No other ship can match the QE2’s prestige, or her legacy. She is an absolute icon of maritime history, one of the best and most powerful ships in the world. Therefore, our decision on a partner was critical.”

“We are pleased to be working closely with COSCO Shipyard for the technical repair and refurbishment process, which will be carried out with the utmost respect to the QE2’s heritage and splendour. China COSCO’s expertise in cruise ship conversion will complement our extensive experience in comprehensive ship repair work and upgrades.”

Mr Yan Chengxiang, Vice President of COSCO Shipyard, said, “The Zhoushan shipyard is one of COSCO’s largest and newest, and it certainly has the capacity to host a cruise ship of the QE2’s stature. QE2 Holdings’ decision to carry out this work with us is a reflection of COSCO Shipyard and COSCO Group’s leading position in China’s shipbuilding industry, and it also should also generate optimism for a sector that is rapidly transforming.”

QE2 Holdings also announced that it has invited seven international interior architecture houses to participate in a competition for the interior design and concept for the QE2’s conversion into an all-suite luxury floating hotel. Submitted designs from Benoy of UK, BG Studio of USA, Jerde Partnership of USA, Dsign Vertti Kivi from Finland, Ong & Ong of Singapore, Santarossa of Italy and Wilson Associates of USA will be showcased at the official QE2 website (http://www.qe2hotels.com) for public review and comment from Oct 15 to Nov 15, 2013.   

Mr Daniel Chui, President and Chief Executive of QE2 Holdings and Managing Director of Oceanic Group, said, “The QE2 offers more than 500,000 square feet of usable space, in a structure roughly equivalent to any five-star hotel. The ship’s redevelopment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any interior design professional to create what will become one of Asia’s major waterfront tourist attractions. The goal for the final design is to preserve the soul of the QE2 — many of the original furnishings and much of the décor will be incorporated — while creating a modern luxury hotel.”

The winner of the competition will be chosen by QE2 Holdings and an advisory panel composed of some of the most illustrious names in the global architectural and design industry, based on a list of set criteria to be posted on the QE2 website and comments from the public. The results will be announced on November 30, 2013.