The British Embassy in the UAE has announced that residents who wish to offer their condolences following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can do so in Dubai on board the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel in Mina Rashid.
The announcement was made Friday as the UAE began a three-day mourning period to mark the death of the UK’s longest serving sovereign. Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland on Thursday afternoon.
Flags in the Emirates and at embassies abroad will fly at half-mast for the duration, while British expatriates in the UAE and other residents of the country have been placing flowers in the lobby of the QE2 Hotel in Dubai.
The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi announced on its Instagram page that the general public would be able to offer condolences at the QE2 from 10am to 6pm and advised people to expect queues.
A bust of Her Majesty, which usually stands in the Queen’s Room, the main ballroom, aboard the former ocean liner, has been moved to the lobby of the ship, according to the Khaleej Times.
The Cunard Line ocean liner was launched in 1969, with Queen Elizabeth as her godmother. “I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the second. May God bless her and all who sail in it,” she said at the time, revealing the name of the vessel, for the first time, to the world’s media.
The QE2 would go on to become the most famous ocean liner in the world, known for its style and opulence, and would host the Queen on several occasions. The liner arrived in Dubai in November 2008 and was converted into a floating luxury hotel at the Mina Rashid port in 2018.
The President and Vice President have led UAE reactions to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, with His Highness President Sheikh Mohamed writing on Twitter: “I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the UK.
“Her Majesty was a close friend of the UAE and a beloved and respected leader, whose long reign was characterised by dignity, compassion and a tireless commitment to serving her country.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who knew the Queen for many years, said: “We join the world in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, a global icon who represented the finest qualities of her nation and people.
“Her incredible lifetime of service and duty to the United Kingdom is unparalleled in our modern world.”