SHE was one of the finest vessels ever launched on the Clyde and became a byword for maritime elegance and grandeur.

And now the QE2 has set sail towards a new future as the jewel of the Cunard fleet opens its doors as a floating hotel in Dubai.

Ten years after being retired from service and sailed to the Middle East, the world-famous liner has undergone a major refurbishment and will begin her new life as the latest grand hotel in Port Rashid.

Owners PCFC Hotels say the ship has been lovingly restored and are planning a 'soft launch' later this week before a full, official, re-opening in November.

The Herald:

The ships bars and restaurants have been refurbished

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The announcement comes after fears were raised that the Glasgow-built vessel had begun to deteriorate in the humid climate of the Middle East, after various plans to give her a new lease of life stalled - including those of a Scottish Parliament working group, who called for her to be brought back to the Clyde.

A number of rooms will be opened during the first phase, along with five of the planned 13 restaurants onboard.

Hamza Mustafa, CEO of PCFC Hotels commented: “To finally open the QE2 is a dream come true for my team and I. It is one of Dubai’s most highly-anticipated projects and we know that a lot of people are going to be very excited to see her for the first time, or to step back on board the vessel that created so many wonderful memories during her 40 years at sea.

"We are especially thankful to our Chairman, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem whose vision and determination to give her a second life has come to fruition.

"His passion for the Queen Elizabeth 2 and all that she represents means that she can continue to deliver the grandeur that she stood for, within a new special location at the heart Mina Rashid, in Dubai."

READ MORE: QE2 'highly unlikely' to return to her home on the Clyde

The Herald:

Mr Mustafa added: "It has been an honor to work on this wonderful project and to help ensure that our lovely Lady lives up to her new slogan: still making history.”

Work to transform the QE2 into a 13-deck hotel has revolved around restoring the ship's former glory by following its existing interior design plan, including its period furniture, paintings and memorabilia.

During the soft launch of the QE2, Passengers can experience some of the ship’s original restaurants including The Chart Room – a sophisticated and historical lounge and bar; The Golden Lion – a traditional English pub, The Pavilion – a family restaurant with an expansive terrace overlooking the marina, Lido – the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant; The Grand Lounge – a cabaret-style lounge with a weekly entertainment programme and the Yacht Club.

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The grand launch of the QE2 will take place in October 2018.

The Herald: