Dubai has the reputation of being the City of Gold and rightly so. A trip to the Gold Souk will demonstrate hundreds of shops selling the yellow metal. And while, historically, gold has been an investment, the temptation for adornment still remain. Buying gold in Dubai is really profitable because the gold is pure. You can find variety and designs that is almost impossible to find anywhere in the sub-continent.
Choice : The UAE is a large importer of gold offering a variety of designs from Indian style, to Arabic and modern Italian and European pieces. Shoppers will find beautiful designs not only from the European designers but also from south-India, Kolkata, China, South-East Asia and of course different countries of Arab.
Tax free: There is no VAT on the gold in the UAE, which makes prices particularly cheap. You might find that prices are up to 40% cheaper than those in the west.
Shop around: There are an endless number of stores offering similar products. Once you have found the item you like, make sure you haggle down to get the best price, before comparing that same item with another shop. Feel free to walk away and come back for the best price you have haggled to. There are even retailers who open express outlets and small kiosks to offer quick and convenient jewellery shopping such as the BRR Gold Express. Sky Jewllery, another Indian jewellery retailer, has opened an express outlet for diamond ornaments at the Gold Centre.
If you are looking for gold for investment purposes and are not interested in ornaments, there are dedicated websites which sell you 24K gold biscuits and gold coins.
Weight and Workmanship: The price is based on the type of gold (24K, 22K, 18K etc.) and how much it weighs. The price per gram is usually displayed at each store. The price of gold could vary each day. There will be an additional charge for workmanship depending on the time taken to make the ornament, how intricate the design is and whether a craftsman or machine was used. And usually, this will revolve around a fixed amount for the workmanship around the gold. But in your negotiations you will be able to bring it down. Nowadays, the branded jewellers are competing with each other on the fixed rate of making charges.
Safe and secure: There is significant monitoring of the stores so that customers can be sure that the shops are providing a good product that is real gold.
Trade in : Many tourists have their old gold on the shelf and come to trade in for cash or as payment towards a new design. It is certainly possible to sell gold in Dubai. Not all stores buy gold, but many do, and some will accept an exchange. Bear in mind, though that some are particularly picky about certain factors: whether the gold has a hallmark; whether there is a certificate; or whether you have a receipt. A number of steps are taken to prevent illegal trading of gold.
New designs: If you want to get the newest pieces, then base your trip around the shopping festivals. Many bring out their new ranges to coincide with DSF and DSS when much business takes place. White gold is another good attraction. They are mostly decorated with diamonds. Most of the ornaments of white gold are made of 18k gold, because of the diamonds that they come with are almost always costly. But you have to do really good bargain.
Custom made: If you want your own piece designed, that can also be done, depending on the time frame. It is best to get in touch beforehand or as soon as you get into town so that your piece is perfect. Having pictures of what you want is also a big help.
Copies: Duplicate designs exist all over and you could get your Bulgari gold set for a snip in comparison with the legitimate price.
Shop times: The shops at the souks operate on a split shift basis, so there is basically a break for the afternoon between 2 and 5. Either get there early or aim for the evening until about 10.30pm. You can buy gold at Dubai Airport but we think you get a better choice, better price and better experience at the Gold Souk in Dubai.
Cash is king: You can bargain down to the last Dirham if you pay in cash. While credit cards are accepted, your Dollar or Dirham can make a big difference if you are planning a big purchase.
Location: The gold souk in Dubai is based in Deira. Any taxi should be able to take you there if you are visiting. You will find some of the branded stores across Dubai and the UAE, offering the same price as their store in the Souk.