Erecting an $11 million Christmas tree in the golden rotunda of the Emirates Palace might be an effective marketing campaign but it illumines some fascinating observations.
The “most expensive Xmas Tree ever” will put "the richest city in the world" up in lights and gain for the UAE yet another entry in the Guinness World Records.
Such an extravagant outpouring of wealth in the opulent Emirates Palace has little connection to the event that it symbolizes—one who was born into poverty in a crowded town where there was no room in the inn and whose first bed was a cow’s lunch box.
Christmas trees have become a popular tradition in Germany, the home of Emirates Palace General Manager, Hans Olbertz, but a sparkling pine tree has little relevance to the essence of Christmas.
If a Christmas tree in Abu Dhabi is needed why not make it culturally appropriate and dress up a tall date palm with Arabian pearls and gold?
One of the positive aspects of this 13 metre Christmas tree in the UAE’s capital is the prominent positioning of a world record-breaking Christian symbol in the most lavish palace of the capital of an Islamic country.
Many are thinking and some have asked whether such an act would offend religious sensibilities in the UAE where Islam is the major religion. Hans Olbertz does not think it would. “It’s a very liberal country,” he said.
In a country where traditionally it has been difficult for churches to publicise their existence and promote their activities, the giant Christmas tree might be a dubious religious symbol but it is lighting up a new chapter in religious tolerance.
Emirates Palace Erects $11m Christmas Tree, Emirates 24/7, 16 December 2010.
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Image: Erecting an $11 million Christmas tree in the golden rotunda of the Emirates Palace might be an effective marketing campaign but it illumines some fascinating observations. (Photo courtesy of AFP)