Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace hotel regrets $11 million Christmas tree

Well – that was quick. Just a couple of days after we reported on its excessive $11 million Christmas tree, the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi has confirmed that it may have gone a little overboard in decorating the (fake) evergreen.

The $11,000 tree had been filled with almost every piece of valuable jewelry the in-house jeweler could find – including diamond earrings, necklaces and pearls. After all the attention the tree got, the hotel manager admitted he “regretted overloading the tradition”.

Of course, one thing not really pointed out in all the attention was that the “decorations” would all be recovered after the holiday season, so despite their insane price tag, the tree itself was not going to cost $11 million.

Still, while the world is in the middle of its first signs of economic recovery, a tree with this kind of excess sends a rather disturbing message. Then again, this is the same hotel where you can buy gold bars from a vending machine and waste $1 million on a week-long stay.

[Photo: AP]

Emirates Palace Hotel unveils $11 million Christmas tree

Talk about a sparkling tree. The Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi puts anything Clark Griswold produced to shame.

Earlier this week, the hotel unveiled what might be the most expensive Christmas tree in history.

The 13-meter (a little more than 42-feet) faux evergreen sparkles in the hotel’s gold-leafed rotunda and is decorated with silver and gold bows, ball-shaped ornaments and small white lights. The tree alone is valued at $10,000 but it’s what’s dangling from the branches that makes this beauty so pricey.

The hotel spared no expense to dress its festive friend for guests. The tree is draped with

a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones, said Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery which provided the jewelry. Combined with its bejeweled accessories – including necklaces, earrings and other jewelry created from the gems – the tree prices out at a whopping $11 million.

We wonder what kind of presents one might find hidden under this Christmas tree…

[via ABC News, Australia]

Daily Pampering: Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace installs gold vending machine

The Emirates Palace hotel is used to discerning travelers. Often visited by foreign dignitaries and rulers of the UAE federation’s seven emirates (each of whom has his own suite), the Emirates Palace hotel knows how to cater to even the most discerning guests. The hotel’s newest amenity – a vending machine that dispenses gold – simply tops the list of extravagant hotel offerings.

The shiny new gold-plated machine in the hotel lobby allows guests to splurge (quite literally) on the precious metal. You can buy your gold from the vending machine in one-gram, five-gram and 10-gram bars, or just bring home gold coins. The gold-plated vending machine automatically updates the price of gold on a daily basis.

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