The opulent Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi where a night’s stay is complemented with your own butler service and a private jet, has unveiled its Christmas tree which towers in its gold leaf covered lobby. ‘Big deal! ‘ You might think. But this tree is not your average Christmas fir. For starters this tree measures a whopping 40 feet from top to bottom and on top of that it is decorated with nothing less than flashy necklaces, shiny bracelets and earrings. This tree’s decoratations consist of over 181 precious stones such as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and pearls. Khalifa Khouri , the owner of top end jewellery store Style Gallery, who has provided the jewellery stated that the bling in the tree are worth around $11 million. Give or take a couple of hundred thousand. Mind you, the tree alone is already worth $10,000. The idea for this year’s tree came from the hotel’s marketing people who ‘just wanted to do something different this year.’ And different it is. This tree gives the ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ song a whole different ring to it. I guess in a place where gold can be bought in vending machines and a week’s stay can cost a million dollars, you can’t expect anything less. It comes as no surprise that the hotel, which is part of the Kempinski Group, had to beef up security somewhat to make sure the pricey ornaments are not accidentally taken by passers-by. I can’t help but feel slightly jealous reading about this opulent fir. Especially since my tree comes in a box and will be draped with only a bit of tinsel and some gold and silver coloured baubles. I guess I could try to pimp it up with some of my necklaces and bracelets, but something tells me this will not really have the same effect. Oh well. It will be a merry Christmas regardless.