Time Frame: Unwrapping the UAE’s festive cheer

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It’s a familiar sight at this time of year. Christmas trees and decorations abound across the country: in malls; hotels and homes. It’s a testament to the tolerance of a country that welcomes so many people of different faiths that the Christmas season can be embraced so fully.

This photograph was taken in Dubai in 2006 and shows a worker applying the final touches to a tree in Jumeirah in mid-December. On the left is the landmark Burj Al Arab hotel.

With more and more expatriates moving to the UAE, thousands of real trees such the balsam fir are now being imported for Christmas. Many come from Canada where they are shipped to the UAE in refrigerated containers on a journey that takes about 30 days – a feat of logistics synchronised to make someone’s Christmas Day a bit more special.

* John Dennehy