Tue, Dec 21, 2010 - Page 14 News List

US$11 million Christmas tree runs into trouble

Items of jewellery hang on the branches of the 13m-high Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 17, 2010.

PHOTO: EPA 照片:歐新社

A luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi which unveiled a Christmas tree decorated with jewels valued at US$11 million has decided to put the record straight against criticism of having gone over the top.

The Emirates Palace hotel said it regretted “attempts to overload the tradition followed by most hotels in the country,” it said, in a statement quoted in Gulf News on Sunday.

“Putting the Christmas tree ... is a tradition meant to share in celebrating occasions guests hold while they are away from their home countries and families,” said the hotel in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Under a headline of “Trouble over US$11 million Christmas tree,” Gulf News said the hotel stressed this was “within the framework of the UAE’s policy which is based on the values of openness and tolerance.”

Emirates Palace stressed that the jewels were on loan from an Abu Dhabi gallery which had paid all the costs of making and decorating the tree. The jewels would be recovered by their owner at the end of the festive season.

“The hotel is just a venue for exhibiting the tree,” it said.

The tree, inaugurated on Dec. 15, holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones, said Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery which provided the jewellery.

Emirates Palace hotel general manager Hans Olbertz said the tree, which he described as the “most expensive Christmas tree ever,” will probably be entered into the Guinness book of world records.







1. stress v.

強調 (qiang2 diao4)

例: The minister stressed the importance of reducing the deficit.


2. framework n.

架構 (jia4 gou4)

例: The new legal framework will increase protection of consumer rights.


3. inaugurate v.

開始 (kai1 shi3)

例: The president will inaugurate the new terminal next week.


4. sapphire n.

藍寶石 (lan2 bao3 shi2)

例: The sapphire on the ring is surrounded by diamonds.







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