Dubai: This emirate is called the "City of Gold", and for good reason. For one, the price of gold is cheaper here than anywhere else in the world. Where in the world do you know of a souq dedicated just for gold? Only in Dubai.
When it comes to purity of the yellow metal, there are no compromises in Dubai or for that matter, in the UAE. Talk about variety, and you have jewellery coming from all over the world. A strict inspections regime ensures purity.
It is no wonder, then, that Dubai is dubbed the "City of Gold".
But we had to hear it from the people, residents and tourists alike, who descend upon Dubai to purchase their object of desire.
Gulf News headed out to the best place in town to shop for gold, the Gold Souq. The beaming eyes of spellbound tourists looking around, beholding the display of gleaming ornaments like they've never seen it before, is in itself an awesome sight.
Take a look at our top reasons why gold is preferred in Dubai and what people have to say.
1. 'We trust the gold from Dubai'
Udhay Phadke, an Indian from Pune, Maharashtra, is on a visit to Dubai. The Gold Souq is a must-stop destination for him.
“The purity and quality of jewellery in Dubai are unmatched. I don’t buy gold in India. I trust the gold in Dubai,” said the 60-year-old tourist from Pune in India.
Phadke has come with a budget of Dh6,000 for gold purchases. “I want to buy my family some jewellery. If I like something, I will not mind going beyond my budget. I have my credit card. I’ll spend.”
For Indians and people from the sub-continent, gold is like an investment.
“We don’t mind spending on gold. It is part our assets and inheritance. The only thing is that we want to buy genuine gold with fancy designs and a great shine.”
He said he trusts the gold from Dubai as he is aware the gold market is well regulated in the city.
All merchandise sold by jewellers is regulated by Dubai Municipality which conducts regular inspections of items sold. Every jewellery store across the city must carry a gold purity hallmark on items they sell and are obliged to provide it to their customers upon request.
The gold purity hallmark is a certificate that specifies details such as the karats and weight of actual gold and stones in the jewellery and the cost of the labour. It ensures that each purchase is authenticated and can be valued anywhere in the world.
“This makes the whole process of buying gold transparent. You know you are not being cheat in Dubai when it comes to buying gold,” said Phadke.
2. 'Gold is cheaper in Dubai'
Mother-and-son duo, Edna and Eugenia Figueiredo from Brazil are amazed to see the wide variety of gold ornaments in Dubai, and also how cheaper it is from the rest of the world.
“I am planning to buy something only because it is way cheaper than in my country. Plus, you don’t get this kind of quality and variety,” she said.
There is no import duty on gold for raw materials like TT (ten tola) and gold bars. There is a 5 per cent import duty, but only on jewellery. Plus there is an additional 5 per cent VAT applicable on all gold jewellery purchases. But this can be fully reclaimed at UAE airports.
As a result of such a low import duty, prices of gold in Dubai are relatively less expensive.
3. 'I have never seen gold like this before'
Variety in designs is one of the main reasons people love to shop for gold in Dubai.
A German couple Karl and Rosemarie, both 70, on a visit to Dubai could not agree more.
“We are amazed by the quality, the shine and the variety in designs. The gold in Dubai is simply gorgeous,” said Rosemarie.
Take this: Owing to the zero import duty tax on gold and TT bars and low tax on jewellery pieces, Dubai imports jewellery from all over the world. India, Singapore, Italy, Bahrain, Malaysia and off-late Turkey are key places from where Dubai imports gold and jewellery. As for purity, Dubai Municipality does regular random inspections to ensure the purity of gold imported into Dubai is high and of the best quality.
4. Dubai gold prices follow international market rates
By doing so, it ensures uniformity of prices across all jewellery stores in the city. Gold price fluctuate just like the stock market. “This makes it possible for buyers to take advantage of falling prices. If there is a trend of gold prices falling, they can take advantage of it,” said a jeweler at the Dubai Gold Souq in Deira. “So check gold prices every day.”
5. You can bargain on 'making' charges
Making charges can be bargained big time in Dubai.
And we at Gulf News find this out first hand. At a store in Dubai, the shop manager said a massive gold piece on display priced Dh950,000 can be brought down to Dh750,000. “No problem, we will reduce the price a little,” he said.
So effectively the making charges in Dubai can be bargained.