World’s most expensive Christmas tree – the criticisms


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.

Links to articles with obnoxious comments found here and here and God knows where else. 

24k gold christmas tree Japan

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”.


  1. Some people don’t fully realize that people (rich or poor) worked for their money and they can spend them anyway they want.

    I think that they should direct their anger towards those goverments that invest enormous amounts of money in financing wars and creating weapons.

    Or against those politicians (and accomplices) that steal money from the people… just saying.

    Happy Christmas to you all!
    .-= Alex@Jocuri´s last blog ..Curse Nascar =-.



  2. I think you have said that really well. No one has the right to be nasty to a private company about what they do with their own money. Who knows what they have done on behalf of the poor.

    I still think (in my own opinion) it is a bit odd to be so flagrant to display such wealth without really honoring what the meaning of Christmas is truly about. But as you explained to me, in the UAE Christmas is more commercial than religious anyway.
    .-= Lorie Shewbridge´s last blog ..Christmas Post of the Day December 21st =-.



  3. Well, the decorations are fabulous, and the tree ? perfect! It complements the interior of such hotel harmonically. It really has the spirit of Christmas there. Well, I hope for this initiative to continue every Christmas, and get this as a tradition.



  4. Knickers in a twist much!!! Merry Christmas all you grinches!

    Read closer: The tree is WORTH $11… it didn’t cost $11… oops! HUGE difference there all ye haters!

    For one: The UAE shows great tolerance in encouraging its residents to celebrate the many religious festivals unlike my home country… a country so PC that Christmas is not be celebrated in case of offence.



  5. I personally was not impressed with the tree. The expensive necklaces were hard to see as they blended in with the branches of the tree and the guard rail circling the tree kept you far enough away from the tree that you needed the zoom lens of your camers to really see these controversial trinkets. I saw other more spectacular Christmas trees in other Abu Dhabi hotels this season.



    1. Yeah, you are right. I assume the jewels hanging from such a huge tree wouldn’t make a big impact because of their size. I have only seen the close up photos of the decorations and not the actual.



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