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Summer gold sales sizzle in UAE

posted on 03/08/2010: 2729 views

Retail gold demand volumes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were up around 10 per cent in July on the year as gold prices dipped and consumers had more disposable income to spend on jewellery than a year ago, retailers said on Monday.

"The drop in the price of gold happened at the same time when tourists coming through Dubai so that really helped pick demand up," said a jewellery trader in Dubai's old gold souk.

Retail sales represent the bulk of gold demand in the Gulf region because the investment market is in its infancy. There are no official monthly figures in the UAE, and views gathered by Reuters are anecdotal from traders at the gold souks.

Spot gold prices were around US$1,182.00 on Monday, down from the record high of US$1,248.95 hit in mid-May when worries about euro zone debt encouraged investment in gold, seen as a safe-haven asset. "The market has recovered a lot and it's mainly due to the price dip, as consumers see the levels right now as a good entry point for buying jewellery," said a jewellery trader in the emirate capital of Abu Dhabi.

Overall during the second quarter of this year, global jewellery demand volumes rose by 43 per cent on the year to 470.7 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

The demand was mainly driven by non-Western markets, where consumers appeared to have adjusted their price expectations, the WGC report said.

Among the strongest performers were the UAE which saw volumes climb 29 per cent during the second quarter of 2010, on the year and Saudi Arabia where volumes rose 29 per cent, the report said.

After the first half of August, retailers expect gold sales to slow down again as Ramadan starts. – Emirates 24|7


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