An Abu Dhabi luxury hotel that boasted a £7 million Christmas tree decorated with gold and gems now says its holiday spirit may have gone too far.
A statement from the Emirates Palace hotel says it regrets “attempts to overload” the tradition of the Christmas tree by adorning it with ornaments made of gold, rubies, diamonds and other precious stones from a hotel jeweller.
The hotel’s message, posted on the state news agency WAM, claims the tree was not a stunt, but rather an effort to boost the yuletide mood for its guests.
Although officially Muslim, the United Arab Emirates features many signs of Christmas for its huge foreign population. Lights, carollers and Santas are fixtures in nearly every shopping mall.