Abu Dhabi pines for a golden Christmas

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The Independent Online

A hotel in Abu Dhabi is in the running for the accolade of having the world's most expensive Christmas tree.

The $11m (£7m) faux fir at the Emirates Palace hotel – which also boasts its own marina, heliport and a vending machine which dispenses real gold bars – stands 43ft (13m) tall and has been decorated with 131 trinkets crafted from gold, diamonds and sapphires. The hotel is now in line for an entry in Guinness World Records.

The current record holder is a $10.8m tree decorated by Swiss watch makers Piaget, which was unveiled in Tokyo in 2002.