The World’s Most Expensive Christmas Trees In History
With Christmas is just around the corner, and everyone is getting into the festive mood, Christmas trees start to pop up in almost every corner of the world. No Christmas celebration is complete without the tree.
People (usually commercial areas like shopping malls and tourist spots) have taken extravagance measures in having the most lavish, attractive Christmas trees (either for attention or self-satisfaction), and here’s a list of the most expensive Christmas trees in the world:
1. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Cost: RM38.45 mil
Image from AP
Standing 13.1 metre tall at the lobby of Emirates Palace Hotel, a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the fake evergreen tree is covered with 181 jewellery consisting of diamonds, pearls, sapphires and other precious stones.
It is reported to be worth around US$11 mil (RM38.45 mil) and earned the title of the most expensive Christmas tree in the world by the Guinness World Records. The value of the tree mainly comes from the necklaces, earrings, watches and other jewellery draped all over the tree.
The tree itself cost about US$10,000, according to Hanz Olbertz, the general manager of Emirates Palace.
2. Hong Kong International Airport, 2013
Last year, as an advertising effort to promote Swarovski products, the company have partnered with JCDecaux to create the signature tree.
Covered with over a million Swarovski crystals, the 15-metre-tall tree was placed in a location that were highly visible from both the departure and arrival halls. The display also incorporated digital touch screen technology which allows travelers to take photo under the tree and create customised e-greeting cards that can be shared through various social media platforms. The estimated value of the tree is unknown, but it definitely looks expensive.
3. Takashimaya, Tokyo, 2013
The department store unveiled a Christmas tree made of precious metal and gold branches last year with an estimated value of £6 million (RM32.6mil), the festive tree is covered with cups and candle stands that are made out of precious metal, with a solid gold star twinkling atop the tree. Security was tight to ensure that the tree remains intact and nobody tries to help themselves to any part of the precious Christmas tree.
4. Ginza Tanaka, Tokyo, 2012
Japan has proved to not hold back on their extravagant Christmas decor with another expensive Christmas tree exhibited in a jewellery shop in Tokyo, Japan. Ginza Tanaka collaborated with Walt Disney in the commemoration of Disney’s 110th anniversary to construct a 2.4-metre-tall tree made out of 40kg of solid gold consisting of 50 popular Disney characters.
It is reported to be worth as much as US$4.2 mil (RM14.68mil). Draped with gold leaves and chains, and topped with the famous Mickey Mouse head made of gold, it is the most expensive Walt-Disney Japan official merchandise to be for sale. However, for those who are not minting money, there was a miniature model of the tree that is cheaper, but still cost a bomb for most!
5. Takashimaya stores, 2007
Cost: RM6.3 mil
Standing only 40 centimeters tall, the flower Christmas tree was covered with 400 diamonds (around 100 carats) from South Africa and Australia. Designed by the famous Parisian floral designer boutique, Claude Quinquaud, this mesmerising tree cost US$1.8 mil (RM6.3 mil) and was available for sale in Takashimaya, the Japanese department store. The beautiful tree also comes with a teddy bear and a necklace.
6. Soo Kee Jewelry, Singapore, 2007
Nearly 20 feet tall and weighed about 3,175kg, the Christmas tree designed by the jewellery shop in Singapore was decked with 21,798 diamonds approximating 913 carats, 3,762 crystal beads and 456 lights that value at a US$1 mil (RM3.49mil).
The tree was displayed in Bugis Junction shopping mall and it was not for sale, which possibly disappointed a few rich Singaporeans.
Getting a Christmas tree in Malaysia
For the rest of us, these trees could possibly blow our budget or even so far out of reach but they shouldn’t stop us from getting into the Christmas spirits. We can still get cheaper trees in Malaysia.
A plastic artificial tree is available for RM129 and RM89 (180cm and 155cm) in Ikea, and if you want a real tree (and are ready to clean the falling needles), Ikea also has it at RM129 and RM189 (160cm and 250cm). With an additional 50% refund in gift cards if you return the live tree between December 26, 2014 and January 14, 2015, so the trees could be recycled to save the environment (not to mention our wallets too!).
Alternatively, potted and imported pre-cut live trees can be bought at various local nurseries and florist shops at various price. For imported pre-cut live trees cannot be replanted and disposing the tree properly might be a concern. Fiber optic and plastic trees can also be found in various department stores like Metrojaya, Parkson and Mydin, and other smaller stores too.
If you’re creative and have a tight budget, many do-it-yourself Christmas tree ideas can be found on the Internet, or perhaps you could come out with your own too!
Christmas is not about showing off your expensive Christmas trees, or a competition about whose tree is more expensive. It is about joy and love — and even without a tree — you can celebrate a jolly, holly Christmas, too!