Stock Dubai gold shopping Covid
In a normal year, the seven days leading up to the Indian festival of 'Askhaya Trithiya' is one of the most crucial phases for the UAE gold and jewellery sector. But this year's is turning into an extremely difficult one. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Gold prices have again shot past the $1,800 an ounce mark and heading towards $1,850, which comes at a most inconvenient time for jewellery shoppers… and retailers. In seven days, the Indian festival of ‘Akshaya Trithiya’ will be marked this year, when gold buying is considered as most auspicious.

In a typical year, these seven days would have marked the start of one of the busiest buying periods for the UAE gold and jewellery sector. But this is far from being a typical year.

There are few signs so far that expat Indians in the UAE are in a mood to add to their gold collections. And the price spiral is only one factor. Today’s Dubai Gold Rate for 22K is Dh206.75 a gram.

Read More

Brief drop and then...

During a brief period in March, gold prices had dropped to $1,687 an ounce levels – and under Dh195 a gram in Dubai – and which led to improved buying patterns. “The mood is subdued – whatever they are hearing from India about COVID-19 deaths and oxygen shortages is being reflected in gold buying,” said a jeweler. “The price increase from $1,750-$1,780 levels from last month has only added to the demand drop.”

Other market sources say that buying by Indian expats have dropped off “alarmingly” in the last two weeks. “It’s as if they have taken a collective pause until there’s some good news on the COVID-19 front from India,” said another retailer. “Many have sent additional remittances back to India ahead of any lockdowns, and that’s also going to affect Akshaya Trithiya buying.”