Forget camel souvenirs and mosque alarm clocks. Diamonds and gold are far better keepsakes. Here is our guide to Dubai gold shops and where and when to get the best deals.
Gold and diamond buyers tend to fall into two stereotypical categories. The head-driven savvy investor looking to source the best bars and bullions to add to their portfolio and the blithe shopper, whose magpie instincts find them attracted to all things gold and sparkly. Whichever category you fall into, Dubai is the destination to pander to your desires and buy some serious gold and diamonds at unbeatable prices.
Since the 19th century, Dubai has been a major trading port thanks to its strategic location, in particular its close proximity to India and South Africa where most of the world’s diamonds originate. Add to this its tax-free appeal (you are not required to pay VAT or tax on diamonds or gold bought in Dubai) and sheer volume of trade, there is no wonder Dubai has been dubbed ‘The City of Gold.’ Its diamond jewellery trade is ranked fourth in the world and it is one of the world’s largest re-exporters of gold.
Buying and investing in gold and diamonds is also very safe practice in Dubai. The Dubai Central Laboratories Department enforces strict regulatory measures with a certification scheme in place called ‘Bareeq,’ which ensures high standards and purity of product.
Prices remain some of the best in the world, but do be aware that gold is not only sold on the gold price, but also with an additional making fee calculated on the intricacy of the craftsmanship. With gold prices reciprocally affected by the global economy, while bullions of gold might seem like the perfect investment, it is wise to limit your gold investment to just 5% of your total assets.
Purchasing diamonds in Dubai is pretty straightforward. Always ask for the certificate of Authenticity when buying diamond and gemstone jewellery in the region and do also keep hold of the invoice including the description of the jewellery bought, as it might be required at the airport.
Dubai gold shops and diamond dealers in the UAE
The Gold Souk
What started back in the 1900s with a handful of retailers is now one of the largest and most reputable gold and diamond market places in the UAE with over 300 gold shops. Located in the heart of ‘old Dubai’ near the Creek, this is a jewellery lovers’ paradise bursting with everything from bars and bullions to bracelets and brooches. www.dubaigoldsouk.com
The Gold & Diamond Park
This glitzy air-conditioned mall is the contemporary answer to Dubai’s traditional Gold Souk which houses approximately 60 retail jewellery stores. Shop around and haggle, but for beautiful bespoke diamond jewellery and superb customer service, you can’t beat Cara Jewellers. www.goldanddiamondpark.com
Now internationally recognized with stores in six countries, Damas is one of the largest jewellery stores in Dubai and the place to shop for beautifully crafted unique diamond jewellery. www.damasjewellery.com
This homegrown award-winning UAE jeweller is a favourite with locals for their selection of gold, diamond and precious stone brands and designs. www.joyallukas.com
Madinat Zayed Gold Centre
Abu Dhabi is also a gold and diamond hotspot, with its one-stop shop, the Madinat Zayed. Also known as ‘the gold souk,’ this mall houses over 70 jewellers including the ever-popular Al Siddiq Jewellers. www.madinatzayed-mall.com
Insider Tips for Buying Gold in Dubai
- Purchase your gold on a Saturday or Sunday, as this is the most stable time, as the price will not be traded on the international exchanges until 2am on Monday.
- The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group fixes gold rates twice a day, so check the current day price, before making a purchase. www.dubaicityofgold.com
- Under the local law it is mandatory for gold jewellery sold in Dubai to carry the gold purity hallmark, so do request to see this.
- It is all in the negotiation so make sure you barter, protest and walk away. You could cut the price up to half.