RSS
The $11 million Arab Christmas tree: By the numbers
The world's most expensive Christmas tree is up... in the United Arab Emirates. And there are (at least) 181 reasons why it cost so much
 
The 43-foot Christmas tree in the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi is decorated with $11.5 million worth of jeweled ornaments.
The 43-foot Christmas tree in the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi is decorated with $11.5 million worth of jeweled ornaments.
AP Images

The Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is already known for its over-the-top luxury: Its lobby is decorated in gold leaf, it has a vending machine for gold bullion, and it offers one seven-day package for $1 million. And now, even though it is in a majority-Muslim country, the hotel is going for a Guinness record for Christian-themed glitz by adorning its lobby with what general manager Hans Olbertz says is the "most expensive Christmas tree ever." What exactly does $11 million get you in the Christmas tree market? (Watch a discussion about the tree)

43
Height of the artificial evergreen tree, in feet

$10,000
Cost of the tree alone

181
Number of diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires, and other precious stones used to decorate the tree

$11.5 million
Estimated cost of the jewels

$1 million (3.5 million dirhams)
Value of the tree's most expensive ornament, a diamond set

4
Number of security guards monitoring the tree

$10.8 million
Value of rival most-expensive Christmas tree contender, in Japan

394
Rooms and suites in the seven-star Emirates Palace

$3 billion
Cost of building the hotel

$2,000
Price of a glass of Hardy Perfection cognac at the hotel, a Guinness record

11 lbs.
Amount of edible pure gold the hotel uses each year for desserts and decor

8 percent
Abu Dhabi's share of the world's crude oil supply

Sources: AFP/Yahoo News, Bloomberg, Wall St. Journal, LearnVest, Emirates Palace

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week