Video: Christmas trees in Dubai sell for up to Dh7,200 as demand surges through the roof

Tree sellers in the emirate say they are looking to sell around 2,300 Christmas trees this year, as demand is likely to remain high much after December 25


Mazhar Farooqui

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 6:34 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Dec 2022, 1:44 PM

It’s 2pm and the National Flower shop in Satwa is abuzz with activity. “Hurry up. We have work to do here,” shouts sales manager Gulshan Abdul Ghafoor, as a helper carefully hauls an eight-feet-tall Christmas tree into the back of a pickup. “It’s a Nordmann fir of the finest quality straight from Denmark,” says Ghafoor, pointing at the tree’s distinct lush, dark green, bushy branches.

A refreshing pine-like smell permeates a courtyard behind the 38-year-old shop, where hundreds of Nordmann, Nobel and Fraser varieties, among other long-lasting ones, are waiting to be delivered to Dubai homes.

This year has been a banner one for Christmas tree sellers in the emirate as sales continue to surge through the roof in the run-up to the yuletide season.

Ghafoor, who has been operating the shop for nearly two decades, said they are looking to sell around 2,300 Christmas trees this year. “We have been on our toes for the past few weeks, particularly because of the overwhelming demand from Russian expats who have relocated to Dubai in recent months. We are getting a lot of queries from them,” he said.

Phones have also not stopped ringing at the nearby Plant Street Flowers. Abdul Rauf, a staff member at Dubai Garden Centre, said they sold out within weeks. “We ordered 200 Christmas trees. They are all gone.”

The demand is likely to remain high much after December 25 as Russians celebrate Christmas on January 7.

This is because the Russian Orthodox Church adheres to the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.

The festive firs in the UAE are largely imported from Canada, Denmark and US in the beginning of November. The trees are kept in special chiller rooms before making their way to individual shops.

A Nobel fir from Canada costs anywhere between Dh550 and Dh1,800, depending on the size of the spruce.

Nordmann firs (125 cm-350 cm) start from Dh250, but the giant ones (4-5 metres) could set you back by Dh7,200. “Of course, you have to order them days in advance,” says Ghafoor, who has built a list of clients over the years. The list includes people of several different nationalities, including Emiratis.

Today, Ghafoor runs most of his business on WhatsApp.

‘My customers don’t have to come to our shop. I share pictures of the trees with them over the phone, allowing them to place their orders from the comfort of their home.”

But not all customers forego the joy of buying the trees from the shop.

One such loyal customer, Brittanny Crawley Hunt, has been buying Christmas trees from National Flowers for over 35 years. “They will open the [trees] for you to choose the one you want,” the British expat said in a Facebook post.

Of late, many residents have begun opting for plastic or artificial Christmas trees so that they can be reused year after year.

But real tree sellers are not worried about losing potential customers. “They can never replace the magic of the real thing,” said a florist in Bur Dubai. “What will do you about the fragrance? Where will you get that from?” he asks.

Environmentalists say the notion that plastic trees are sustainable is misplaced, as most of them are not recyclable and end up in landfills. They argue that real trees are more eco-friendly as they don’t require the intensive carbon emissions it takes to produce and ship fake ones.

4 tips to make your Christmas tree last longer

  • Keep them in a shaded place away from the sun
  • Water them from time to time
  • Keep them away from air conditioning
  • Trim the trunk to remove any clogged tissue at the base.


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