Gold in short supply in Dubai

Buyers come in droves to buy coins and biscuits

  • gold rush: Be it Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi, shops are flooded with people buying gold jewellery, biscuits anImage Credit: AHMED RAMZAN/XPRESS
  • gold rush: Be it Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi, shops are flooded with people buying gold jewellery, biscuits anImage Credit: AHMED RAMZAN/XPRESS
  • GOING FOR GOLD: Be it Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi, shops are flooded with people buying gold jewellery, biscuiImage Credit: JAY B. HILOTIN/XPRESS

Dubai: Dubai has run out of gold. Well not exactly, but salespersons at jewellery outlets say there is no supply of gold coins and biscuits.

And those hoping to cash in on tumbling gold rates are likely to be disappointed if they head to retail outlets as the men manning the counters say the the city has run out of coins and biscuits. “There seems to be no gold coin or bar available in Dubai,” a salesperson in Karama told this reporter.

“It’s unthinkable for gold to come down to this level,” said Pradeep, an Indian logistics executive who joined the throng of buyers at Karama Shopping Centre, where a cluster of gold shops were abuzz with customers.

On Friday global gold prices closed down five per cent, precipitated by fears of a gold selloff by European central banks to pay for bailouts by ailing countries.

“All our gold biscuits weighing 10, 20, 50 and 100 grams are sold out as of today,” a staff from Malabar Gold told XPRESS from the Karama branch on Monday.

“Sorry, we can’t talk to journalists right now,” said Sudarsan, a salesman at Joyalukkas, pointing to the ‘unusually huge’ number of customers in his shop.

At the Deira Gold Souq, many shops were open beyond the 10.30pm store hours to accommodate customers on Sunday night.

J.B., manager at Juthalal Mulji Jewellers in Satwa, said the buying is expected. “Gold remains the safest form of investment. Indians and people in the Gulf love it for centuries due to its value.”

Buyers’ appetite surged as a 24-karat biscuit that sold for Dh177 a gm on Saturday went down to Dh170.25 on Monday. It slid further to Dh167.50 on Tuesday. “Buying has temporarily softened [on Tuesday] as people waited for prices to stabilise,” said Vijay Vaya, manager of Harilal Jewellers. Gold outlets such as Sky Jewellery, Damas and Joyalukkas on Monday said they ran out of gold coins and bars, a situation reported by retailers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Afshan, a Dubai-based Pakistani teacher, said: “I bought 22-karat jewellery here last year when the price was Dh205 per gram. Now it’s Dh160 per gram.”

Filipina secretary Jenny V. was with her fiancé Renato hunting for a gold ring at Chemmanur International Jewellers on Sun-day. “We can afford heavier rings for the same budget,” said Renato.

Pradeep Unni, a senior relationship manager at brokerage house Richcomm Global Services in Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, said Indians love to buy gold here as they pay the actual international price. “They do not lose extra money on taxes and services charge,” said Unni.

Gold will continue to remain bearish in the short term as exchange-traded funds sell holdings in favour of riskier investments like stocks due to expectations of a US recovery, “The wedding season demand from India and China will however sustain prices from early May,” Unni added.

With inputs from Jaydip Sengupta, staff writer

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  • vidur

    Apr 18, 2013 12:08

    Maybe the shop keepers are simply not selling the gold biscuits because they got them at hgher price? We can still buy the jewellery but all need to keep a sharp lookout on the making charges.....

  • shikder

    Apr 18, 2013 11:50

    Gold will come less then Dh 130 per gram (22k). Because other business is more profitable like invest to land or long time Bank deposit.

  • Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

    Apr 18, 2013 10:02

    I believe the unexpected drop in gold price in UK market have forced the wholesale dealers in Dubai to hold their stock as reserves and wait for the market to move up again. If not, they will be incurring huge loss on stock they bought for high price which they have to release to themarket to meet the demand created due to the current global scenario. I am sure it is the case in all the major gold markets, including India and in particular Kerala, where there is always a huge demand for gold. Those who have invested in gold, it is a time to hold on to it as priceswill move up again. Those who have not invested in it, take advantage of the situation and buy some yellow metal for keep, only and only if you have reserve cash. However, caution to NOT USE YOUR CREDIT CARD for buying gold. You will regret heavily later.

  • Joe

    Apr 18, 2013 6:45

    This is quite normal phenomenon, that when the gold price falls then there is a scarcity of the product. Authorities should take necessary measures to overcome this situation, means, the hidden gold by the retailers should be ceased, in case if the rate of this yellow metal was high , then there will be surplus. Please do not make public fools.