I got a lot of visitors in this blog after I posted about the world’s most expensive Christmas Tree last week. It’s amazing how the Christmas tree on display at the Emirates Palace Hotel sparked a lot of comments from people all around. Looking at the comments on news articles, a few were impressed, most are shocked and whoa, “angry”, saying:
“Obscene is the word…”
“It cheapens the meaning of Christmas!”
“many are going hungry and homeless around the world…”
“It’s a Muslim country for God’s sake!”
“They could have donated the money to charity!”
“so that’s where OUR oil money goes…”
The hotel is privately owned (Kempinsky group) and has no connection with the government of Abu Dhabi nor with oil money. And even if it is connected with oil money, it’s not your money, at least not anymore. You bought the goods to run your car, case closed. Would you really need to care how the oil makers use the money afterwards?
The hotel has expressed regrets over the heated comments thrown at them. The Gulf News daily quoted a hotel statement as saying:
Putting the Christmas tree is not a novelty, rather it is a tradition meant to share in celebrating occasions guests hold while they are away from their home countries and families which is within the framework of the UAE’s policy which is based on the values of openness and tolerance. The hotel is just a venue to display the tree.
Also, the hotel denies ownership of the jewels on the tree. The jewels will be returned to the sponsoring companies at the end of the celebrations.
So there – before attacking a private hotel of displaying a lavish tree and making guilt-trip comments about how the money should have been used for the hungry and homeless, I wish people would think of their spending habits first. How many times have you ordered a grossly huge meal (suitable for two people) for yourself at McDonalds? How many times have you left your restaurant table still with food that can feed three oppressed and hungry children in Haiti?
Oh yeah, sorry but that’s your money so you’re free to spend it whatever you like. You know what? Same goes for Abu Dhabi and their Christmas tree.
Just for the kicks, in 2008 when Japan unveiled the world’s most expensive Christmas tree valued at 1 million pounds sterling, I bet everybody only gasped and said “”Ohhh lala”.