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World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree

World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree

As Abu Dhabi reveals the most expensive Christmas tree on the planet, such flashy opulence makes Kipp think we’ve seen this all before… and it didn’t end very nicely.

December 16, 2010 4:19 by

We’ve written this week about the over-the-top path we fear Abu Dhabi might be going down. We consoled ourselves with thinking that its potential glut of malls is just speculation and that ultimately the arts and culture that Abu Dhabi is renowned for will triumph. Class over crass, we ventured.

And then we opened the paper this morning to see what might be Abu Dhabi’s flashiest record to date: The World’s Most Expensive Christmas tree, complete with diamonds, pearls, emeralds and other precious stones.

The tree, which was just unveiled this week in the atrium of Emirates Palace, has 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and sapphires according to Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery, the company that provided the jewels. Hans Olbertz, general manager of the hotel, told The Daily Mail “The tree itself is about $10,000. The jewellery has a value of over $11million – I think 11.4m, 11.5m.”

As of yet there is no official record which qualifies the tree as the most expensive in the world, though they are likely to get the Guinness Book of Records to attest their gaudy display of opulence.

Of course, Olbertz was quick to dismiss concern about the 13 meter tall tree being erected in a predominantly Muslim country. “It’s a liberal place,” he said. [Try telling that to the companies that prefer a round of “Secret Friend” to “Secret Santa”, thinks Kipp, while narrowly eying the office.]

Putting aside the fact that the UAE isn’t even a Christian country, and this culturally irrelevant, shamelessly flashy display of wealth is not really what Christmas is about. It has also stoked our worst suspicions about the direction our capital is headed.

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1 Comment

  1. Zaidoon Abdel Hadi on December 20, 2010 4:45 pm

    Spain has a tomato festival, where people throw tomatoes enough to feed all sub-saharan Africa at each other. We all saw french farmers dump hundreds of tons of oranges in the ocean to keep the prices up. $11 million is the price of 22 top of range Patek Philippe watches, should we say “shame on Geneva” for producing watches each costing the price of a village in Cambodia? Trillions have been spent on wars this decade alone.
    NO BODY BAUGHT THESE JEWELS, they were a LOANER from a jewellery store, which I would say is a smart advertising move by the hotel manager and the jeweller, getting their names in the Guinness book.
    Besides, lets not forget that both are businessmen not representative of the public’s or government’s taste.
    In the grand scheme of things, and with media nowadays bombarding muslim countries, I haven’t read one article speaking positively about the spirit of openness and closing the gaps between religions that Abu Dhabi is engaging by setting up trees all over.


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