A Golden Christmas for Abu Dhabi
Source: Associated Press (12/16/10)
"UAE Christmas tree adorned with $11M worth of gold."
When they deck the halls in opulent Abu Dhabi, it comes with gold ornaments and gem-studded bows on a towering Christmas tree. Golden necklaces are seen among the other decorations adorning the tree, which was decked out with $11 million worth of gold at the Emirates Palace hotel, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday.
The hotel's general manager, Hans Olbertz, told Dubai's Gulf News that he worked with one of the jewelers in the hotel to create a "unique tree and experience for our guests this year."
The Emirates Palace Hotel may later contact Guinness World Records for a possible bid as the world's most expensive Christmas tree. The Guinness web site lists a $10.8 million tree put in 2002 in Toyko with 83 pieces of jewelry from Piaget Japan.
Christmas spirit is not rare in the United Arab Emirates, which is officially Muslim but hosts a huge foreign population. Malls are full of carolers, Santa's and piped-in yuletide songs.
The $11 million symbol of the season has become the latest extravagance at the Emirates Palace hotel, which boasts its own marina, heliport and a vending machine that pops out small gold bars.