New gold and diamond buyers emerge at Dubai Shopping festival
Normally crammed with Indian expats and Indian tourists, this year Dubai’s gold and diamond traders have seen a strong presence of Chinese and European buyers, along with Arab customers going for gold.
Posted: Thursday , 30 Jan 2014
MUMBAI (Mineweb) -
Gold jewellers in Dubai have reported the strongest gold sales in seven years, with over four million shoppers crowding the retail and jewellery outlets at the Dubai Shopping Festival. Though Indian expats and Indian tourists have taken the lead in the gold rush this year, diamond jewellery counters are also registering an increased presence of buyers from China and from European tourists.
Tomy Joseph, general manager of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group told Gulf News that sales had jumped by about 35% as compared to last year’s sales, in the first eleven days of the festival period.
He added that an average 250 kilograms of gold was sold daily in participating outlets in Dubai this year in the first three weekdays, as compared to 150 to 175 kilograms daily gold sales last year, during the same period. Interestingly, not all participating outlets have reported their sales as yet, indicating that the numbers could be much higher.
Sunny Chittilappilly, Chairman of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group cited the large Indian expat population as responsible for boosting gold jewellery buying on a large scale, especially during the festive season.
He told Khaleej Times that the exclusive Expo 2020 Candidate City Dubai gold coins, that was promoted with a mega campaign, had received a huge response, and that along with the coins, lightweight gold ornaments were also popular among shoppers this year. In three weeks, some 12,000 coins were sold.
Since April, Dubai’s gold and jewellery trade has been seeing a massive rush of buying activity, as consumers make full use of the continued softness in the precious metal’s price. Accordingly, daily volumes have reached new heights at the shopping festival with the 180 participating jewellery outlets in Dubai.
Last year, gold shed 28 per cent in value. That has not deterred shoppers, and average transactions per buyer has shot up to 20-22 grams, as against the 16 grams bought earlier when prices were in the $1,400-1,600 range, according to Shamlal Ahmad of retailer Malabar Gold and Diamonds, which also has retail outlets in India.
Ahmad said a clear spike in gold and jewellery purchases was noticed from Arab shoppers, and from Syrians, Iranians and Egyptians in recent weeks. Dubai’s jewellery trade has also been striking gold from a relatively new shopper, Chinese and European tourists.
Historically, the festival used to be held at the end of the year, but in recent years it has been pushed forward to coincide with the Russian Orthodox Christmas and Chinese New Year in order to maximise on the number of tourists from these two countries.
It appears to be playing out well given the many footfalls. The Dubai shopping festival was announced in partnership with the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and is giving away a kilogram of gold and a diamond solitaire ring for each of the 32 days of the festival, which began on January 2.