World’s largest floating nightclub opens in Dubai on historic QE2 cruise ship
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Historic ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2, affectionately known in cruise circles as QE2, is now home to the world’s largest floating nightclub: Float Dubai.
On 14 October, the vessel — purchased in 2008 by Dubai‘s royal family and is now docked as a floating 215-room hotel in the commercial port of Rashid — hosted the club’s grand opening. According to Float’s Instagram page, it included a performance by U.S. rapper DaBaby, a DJ, dancers, acrobats, hula-hoopers and drinks with eye-watering high prices. (About 200 ounces of Dom Perignon Rose Gold set partygoers back more than $107,000 (£77,427), The Times reports.)
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Besides loud, dark and exclusive, it’s difficult to pinpoint what, exactly Float Dubai is going for. “Float delivers a unique space in the present onboard the Queen Elizabeth II, a vessel steeped in the history and culture of the past, and deploys technologies of the future to guarantee an experience you won’t forget,” the venue’s website claims, offering few other details. It also urges site visitors to “immediately add Float to their list,” but besides the three-night grand opening, which has already come and gone, there isn’t currently anything else listed on Float’s “Events” page.
Perhaps that’s because of COVID-19 restrictions, which The Times said required attendees to reserve tables — with a minimum spend of nearly $1,100 (£795) — in order to adhere to social distancing protocols. Bizarrely, patrons were also not allowed to stand up or dance, despite the flashy entertainment offerings.
The company’s Facebook page has a plethora of photos, which seem to indicate that the venue is outdoors — something that allowed visitors to remove their masks while seated. Other shots show uplighting on the vessel’s funnel and colored spotlights which have been added to the outer decks.
Designed with a capacity for 1,000 people, Float can accommodate more visitors than the ship’s hotel can, and it certainly holds more people than any other ship’s nightclub. For context, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, which carries 5,400 passengers as one of the largest cruise ships in the world, has the capacity for fewer than 200 people in its onboard Blaze nightclub.
QE2, launched in 1967 for Cunard Line, specialized in long-haul world cruises and later transitioned to becoming less of an ocean liner and more of a cruise ship, offering voyages from the U.K. that carried many A-list stars. The vessel also functioned as a troop ship during 1982’s Falklands War before returning to service and finishing out its career with Cunard, which was sold to Carnival Corporation in 1998 — 10 years before the ship was sold.
Featured photo courtesy of Float Dubai/Facebook.
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