An Emirati man walks past an 11-million-dollar Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace hotel The tree holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones UAE hotel 'regrets' 11 mln dlr Christmas tree (AFP) 3 days ago ABU DHABI An upscale Abu Dhabi hotel that unveiled a jewel-studded 11 million dollar (8.3 million euro) Christmas tree said it regretted overloading the tradition, according to local press reports on Sunday. The Emirates Palace hotel said it regretted "attempts to overload the tradition followed by most hotels in the country with meanings and connotations that do not fall in line with the professional standards" of the hotel. "Putting the Christmas tree is not a novelty, rather it is a tradition meant to share in celebrating occasions guests hold while they are away from their home countries and families," the Gulf News daily quoted a hotel statement as saying. This tradition "is within the framework of the UAE's policy which is based on the values of openness and tolerance," the hotel added. The tree, inaugurated on Wednesday, holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones, said Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery, which provided the jewellery. The jewels, worth more than 11 million dollars, "will be recovered by their owner at the end of celebrations," Gulf News quoted the hotel statement as saying. The 13-metre (40-foot) faux evergreen, located in the gold leaf-bedecked rotunda of the hotel, is not the first extravagant offering from Emirates Palace -- a massive, dome-topped hotel sitting amid fountains and carefully manicured lawns. The hotel in the oil-rich Gulf emirate where the vast majority of the local population is Muslim, bills itself as a seven-star establishment, and introduced in February a package for a week-long stay priced at one million dollars. Takers of the package get a private butler and a chauffeur-driven Maybach luxury car during their stay, as well as a private jet available for trips to other countries in the region. And in May, the hotel installed a gold dispenser, becoming the first place outside Germany to install "gold to go, the world's first gold vending machine," said Ex Oriente Lux AG, the German company behind the machine. Copyright © 2010 AFP.