Dubai has decided to turn the QE2 into a floating hotel after it bought the ship for $100 million five years ago.
The Queen Elizabeth II will stay in the city state"s Port Rashid to attract tourists and plans are to keep many of the vessel"s original furnishings.
It will be alongside a proposed maritime museum and expanding cruise ship terminal complex.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Istithmar World, which owns the ship, said he expects the 300-room hotel to open within 18 months.
"We are not making major changes. We will preserve its tradition and the way it was," he said at a news conference near the ship's mooring. "It's a great vessel and it will continue its journey to serve the tourist sector in Dubai."
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the QE2 in 1967. Since it went into service in 1969, the QE2 has made at least 26 round-the-world voyages.
It was sold to Istithmar World in 2007 by Cunard cruise line.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012