Monday, December 20, 2010

Abu Dhabi hotel begs for forgiveness over $11-million Christmas tree

Only days after proudly announcing that it had installed an $11-million Christmas tree -- the most expensive ever -- a hotel in Abu Dhabi is apologizing after critics denounced the display as being in bad taste.

Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Hotel expressed embarassment over its "attempts to overload the tradition" in a way that does not "fall in line with the professional standards" of the hotel.

The tree stands at more than 13-metres tall and is decorated with diamonds, pearls, emeralds and sapphires (181 pieces in total) provided by one of the hotel's gemstone boutiques.

Despite its location in the capital of the wealthy Muslim nation, the Emirates Palace has stated that the Christmas tree tradition falls within national policies of tolerance.

BY JESSICA HUME, NATIONAL POST DECEMBER 20, 2010