Monday, December 20, 2010

Excess of tolerance: The culture that is Abu Dhabi

The Slatest:
A hotel in the United Arab Emirates is wondering whether its pimped-out tree, dripping with $11 million dollars of gold and gems, was a step too far, reports the Guardian. The hotel, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, has certainly made a show of moderation in the past. Guests, for example, can visit the Palace's gold bar vending machine and book a $1mil week-long tour of the Middle East via jet plane. The hotel apologized for the tree, saying it regretted "attempts to overload" the fake fir tree with gold, rubies, and diamonds and that it was the hotel jeweler's fault. The statement also said the tree was simply there to bring holiday cheer to guests and celebrate the United Arab Emirates' "values of openness and tolerance."
Read more in The Guardian.

The official press release states,
Emirates Palace Hotel has denied press reports claiming its ownership of the jewels decorating the Christmas tree which was erected in the lobby of the hotel in celebration of Christmas and the new year.

The jewels on the said tree, which is part of an annual tradition followed by most hotels in the UAE and the rest of the world, are the sole ownership of Style Gallery who has paid all the costs of making and decorating the tree. The jewels will be recovered by their owner at the end of celebrations, according to a statement by the hotel.

"The hotel is just a venue for exhibiting the tree", the hotel said.



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