The 13-metre Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi is decorated with ornaments worth Dh40 million. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: With Christmas just around the corner, Abu Dhabi's hotels have begun their Christmas tree lighting ceremonies.

The public can enjoy festive treats, carols sung by a choir and a visit by Santa Claus.

"We had our tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday. It was a great hit. Two a capella groups including Blue Fever and Voices of Harmony entertained guests with an interactive performance and Santa Claus gave presents to the children while their parents and other guests enjoyed our holiday-themed beverages and snacks," Rana Saab, Director of Marketing and Communications for Yas Island Rotana, said.

"This year, we have also decided to sell special hampers and donate the proceeds to charity," she added. However, anyone wishing to have a more glittering celebration can visit the Emirates Palace Hotel to view its 13-metre "precious" Christmas tree.

With its valuable decorations, the tree could perhaps make a bid for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Most Expensively Decorated Tree.

"Our tree is decorated with 131 jewellery and sets made of gold and precious and semiprecious stones that are worth more than $11 million [Dh40.45 million].

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"We had approached our inhouse jewellery retailer, Style Gallery, about creating a unique tree and experience for our guests this year. It took over two days to set up everything and it will remain in place until the end of December," said Hans Olbertz, the hotel's General Manager.

Some hotels will be offering their own holiday specials.

"We will be serving holiday-themed beverages and mince pies during the Christmas tree lighting while our inhouse choir will be singing traditional Christmas carols.

"Santa Claus will also make an appearance with gifts for children ," said Natalie Glorney, Director of Communications for the Shangri-La Hotel and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri.