Flashy Fir: Hotel Installs an $11M Christmas Tree

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Hussein Malla / AP

The Christmas tree in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel

The Christmas tree in an Abu Dhabi luxury hotel is rocking more bling than Kate Middleton’s finger.

If it were possible to have too much Christmas cheer, the Emirates Palace hotel would receive the dubious distinction. The Christmas tree adorning the hotel’s lobby is worth over $11 million, studded with gold, rubies and diamonds provided by a local jeweler. The tree rises 43 feet inside the hotel and is attracting a great deal of attention, but not for its opulent ornaments. Some guests think the tree is taking the Christmas spirit to tacky heights.

(See more about the world’s boutique hotels.)

Amidst the criticism, hotel management is backpedaling, blaming the jeweler for the over-the-top display. Emirates Palace issued a statement saying they regret the attempt to “overload the tradition” of Christmas. They claimed the hotel was “just a venue for exhibiting the tree.” For now, the tree is still standing, despite the controversy.

But even if the tree is deemed too extravagant for the Emirates Palace, at least you can still purchase your gold bars in the hotel’s gold vending machine. (via The Guardian)