The new owners of the Queen Elizabeth 2 hope to attract twice as many guests as the majestic cruise liner did when she sailed the world’s oceans, after she is transformed by the UAE developer Nakheel into a luxury floating hotel and museum.

'In 40 years, the ship has had about 2.5 million guests on board, but when we are done with transforming her we expect to see more than double that number in the same period,' said Manfred Ursprunger, the chief executive of QE2 Enterprises at Nakheel Hotels, which is taking charge of the project.

Istithmar, the investment arm of the state-owned Dubai World development company, bought the ship last year from Britain’s Cunard Line for US$100m (Dh367.3m).

The Naitonal