Dubai, the City of Gold, is renowned for its luxury. But behind its fanciful skyline, there’s an ugly reality of inequality.
Gold has become the new safe haven in the global financial crisis, and it’s no wonder that people flock to Dubai to purchase it. But is it sustainable?
The strong trade in gold for over a century has earned Dubai the moniker of ‘City of Gold’. The city is a key player in global jewellery and gold trading thanks to its tax-free status and geographic location.
While there are many stores in malls and other locations throughout the city that sell gold, it’s best to visit the old Gold Souk in Deira. This traditional marketplace offers hundreds of gold retailers spread across a half-square-kilometre area.
It’s also the oldest of the Dubai markets and a good place to see how traders and tourists conduct business. The process can be a bit overwhelming and it’s important to know how to bargain for the right price.
While some travellers prefer to explore this part of Old Dubai on their own, a guided tour is highly recommended. They’ll help you navigate through the crowds and understand how to buy gold in Dubai. In addition, they’ll make sure you get the most out of your shopping experience at the Dubai City of Gold.
The gold trade is thriving in Dubai. Previously, buying gold in Dubai was duty-free, but after 2018, 4% value-added tax has been added to the purchase price.
The best place to buy bullion is at one of the city’s gold dealers. LBMA prices are published daily and displayed prominently in the shops. Bullion is sold in ounces, grams and tola. Ounces have solid corners and a weight stamp, while gram or tola gold bars have rounded edges.
In addition to the local residents, tourists are also a big part of the Gold Souk’s clientele. Those who prefer to avoid haggling can opt for shopping online. However, this method can be tricky as it requires you to know your prices and varieties. Some of these sites are also prone to fraud and scams. To avoid these, you can check the seller’s reputation and the company’s website before making a purchase. Moreover, make sure the seller offers a full refund for foreign visitors.
Dubai’s jewellery shops are famous for being among the world’s best. In fact, many people from all over the globe come to Dubai to shop for jewellery and other ornaments!
Gold sold in Dubai is priced among the lowest in the world, thanks to the low taxes and import duties that it attracts. This is a huge draw for tourists, who can get a 5 percent VAT refund on their purchases upon declaring them at the airport before departure.
However, buyers should bear in mind that making charges (labour) may be higher than in other parts of the world. Also, depending on the intricate nature of the design and the amount of gold used, prices may vary drastically. To avoid any surprises, shoppers are advised to check the gold rate and compare prices from different shops. In addition, it is recommended that buyers read up on their home country’s gold import regulations and customs policies before splurging in Dubai.
The Gold Souk is a must-see attraction in Dubai. The narrow alleyways and carved wooden roofs of this iconic market have not changed much in the past century and are an essential part of Dubai’s culture. There are several tours that include a visit to this area of Old Dubai.
You can also take the Metro train to get here. The closest station is Al Ras and the exit to the Gold Souk is within walking distance. The ride should take about 30 minutes.
Another option is to hire a taxi. There are many options available, including women-only and accessible taxis. The price of the taxi will vary depending on how far you are traveling. The best way to find out the latest prices is by asking your tour guide or hotel concierge. You can also visit the Al Etihad Gold Refinery and see how gold is refined and converted into investment-grade bars for bullion banks and traders.