gold rush: Be it Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi, shops are flooded with people buying gold jewellery, biscuits and coins like there’s no tomorrow Image Credit: AHMED RAMZAN/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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