ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An opulent Abu Dhabi hotel which went overboard with an $11 million Christmas tree last year is now opting for a more modest display.
The Emirati capital's National newspaper reported Monday that this year's tree at the Emirates Palace hotel is decorated with foil ornaments wrapped with cloth ribbons, and with custom-made balls designed to represent the country's former pearl trade.
The beachfront hotel was criticized for bad taste last year when it loaded a 43-foot (13-meter) tree with ornaments that included gold, diamonds and sapphires. It later said it regretted "attempts to overload" the Christmas tree tradition.
Although officially Muslim, the United Arab Emirates has a large foreign population and features many Christmas displays.