Author Topic: Abu Dhabi hotel criticised for $11m Christmas tree  (Read 2237 times)

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Offline bamalli

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Abu Dhabi hotel criticised for $11m Christmas tree
« on: December 17, 2010, 12:29:59 PM »
Abu Dhabi hotel criticised for $11m Christmas tree
    

DUBAI - A glitzy hotel in Abu Dhabi has come under fire for erecting a bejewelled Christmas tree worth more than $11 million at a time of global economic hardship.

Emirates Palace hotel unveiled the 13-metre faux evergreen, dubbed "most expensive Christmas tree ever”, earlier this month, catching the world’s attention with its extravagant decorations of jewellery and precious stones.

But while the tree - which the hotel hopes to enter into the Guinness book of world records - impressed some, it also upset a lot of people who voiced their disapproval on Yahoo! Maktoob and social networking sites.

“I'm sorry Emirates Palace Hotel, your Christmas tree is obscene and disgusting... I imagine it is an amazing hotel but an $11 million tree, that is shocking,” @lukevernon posted on Twitter.

Many said it would have been better to give the money to charity, highlighting the plight of people in places such as Haiti and parts of Africa.

“It's certainly a statement. But given the amount of good this ridiculous expenditure could have done elsewhere, with so much misery around the world, the statement reeks of appalling bad taste,” Omar commented on Yahoo! Maktoob.

“At the very least, they could - in the spirit of Christmas is supposed to be about - have fed orphans a hearty meal. At the rate of $2 a bowl, that would be 5.5 million youngsters in Africa or South Asia who would not have gone hungry for one night,” he added.

The tree, which will be on display until the end of the year, itself cost around $10,000, while the decorations provided by a local jeweller cost some $11.5 million, according to the hotel.

“It is the jewellery collection as ornaments that made the tree so expensive, the aim obviously is propaganda and Guinness records. Easily would have helped thousands of families displaced in the recent disasters,” added dania UAE on Yahoo! Maktoob.

Emirates Palace is no stranger to extravagance, with the hotel also boasting a gold bar vending machine and package seven-day stays priced at $1 million.

RELIGIOUS DEBATE

The tree also sparked a debate over religious freedoms in the United Arab Emirates, a liberal Muslim state where some 80% of the population is made up of expatriates.

Christmas trees are a common site in most upscale hotels and shopping malls throughout the UAE, which sees large numbers of European tourists flock to the Gulf state during the winter to escape the cold weather at home.

Many readers praised the UAE for its religious tolerance, although some said the tree was probably more of a marketing stunt than anything else.

“Wow it’s fabulous! True example how UAE stands apart from others in terms of luxury and religious liberalism,” sandeep commented on Yahoo! Maktoob.

Sarem added: “That Christmas tree is so extravagant!... I think UAE do this for the sake of tourism. But anyway, I am glad I’m here in UAE because here, Muslims are very open minded and loving.”
 
Others, however, questioned whether the UAE, as a Muslim country, should allow the open participation in celebrations of other faiths.

“Muslims must not celebrate Christmas or holidays of non-Muslims. By participation in Christmas, it is possible that slowly one may lose his or her consciousness of this basic point of difference between Islam and Christianity,” wrote Arsh Qadiri.

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: Abu Dhabi hotel criticised for $11m Christmas tree
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 12:29:34 AM »
Many Westerners have already lost sight of what Christmas is all about, religously speaking that is. It has become more a cultural and commercial event for the majority of them. Maybe that is what the UAE was looking at when they hosted that ridiculous tree. At any rate as  a muslim country, they really shouldnt celebrate christmas publicly in that fashion. Despite UK's liberal attitude towards Islam and Muslims, they are still to make Eid el Fitr or Eid el Kabir work free days.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: Abu Dhabi hotel criticised for $11m Christmas tree
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 09:15:26 PM »
Husnaa

I suppose you will be telling us that Christmas and Easter are work free days in Saudi Arabia or Iran.
maigemu

 


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