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LEISURE Gold a big hit for shoppers for the first three days of DSF

Gold buying habits of residents have grown, jewellers say

By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter
January 6, 2013
Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: The first three days of the 18th Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) saw a huge boost in the Dubai gold trade compared to last year’s sales during the same period as many shoppers have regained confidence in the market, Dubai’s jewellers told Gulf News.

“We’re only four days into DSF, but already last weekend, especially Friday, was one of the best days for gold shops as there were a lot of buying of gold,” Abdul Salam, Group Executive Director of Malabar Gold and Diamonds, told Gulf News.

“Dubai has made a comeback and people have the confidence to buy gold again. On a shop-to-shop comparison for the first three days of DSF this year to that of last year, this year’s DSF is really doing well,” Abdul Salam said, without citing exact sales figures.

This year’s DSF opened on January 3 and is scheduled to run for 32 days. Jewellers said one good crowd-puller is the Gold Mega Raffle where shoppers can win up to 15 kilograms of gold and up to Dh2 million courtesy of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group (DGJG).

The group was established in 1996 as a main support for the first Dubai Shopping Festival. The group has evolved and grown to have more than 700 members that aim to promote Dubai’s jewellery industry.

“For the first three days of DSF the sales have been good, especially on Friday, almost all the gold shops are extremely packed. Quantity-wise it has improved maybe because last year’s gold price was more while this year is less. And the promotion has helped a lot,” Sunny Chittilappilly, DGJG chairman, told Gulf News.

Last year’s DSF gave 32 winners half a kilo of gold each, and one mega winner of 3kg of gold. This year, a total of 454 winners will bring home up to 15 kg of gold in total plus up to Dh2million in cash.

“The big winnings combined with the incredible offers are a huge attraction for jewellery lovers hence we have seen the maximum off-take of gold and jewellery during the DSF period,” John Paul Joy Alukkas, Executive Director, Joyalukkas Group, told Gulf News.

Based on Joy Alukkas’ estimation, gold purchases during DSF account for between 10 to 15 per cent but the figure varies hugely between nationalities. Pakistanis and people from the Indian subcontinent, and the Chinese are the big spenders on gold and jewellery.

“Indians still pre-dominantly prefer to buy 22Kt gold jewellery whereas Europeans, CIS nationalities and Chinese and some other Asians prefer to buy 18K,” Joy Alukkas said.

Chittilappilly said that aside from gold ornaments, gold bars are also finding their way into shoppers’ to-buy list as they are easy to liquidate.

Over the years, DGJG has given away more then 683 kgs of gold during the various editions of DSF and Dubai Summer Surprises. The key sponsors of the campaign are Joy Alukkas Jewellery, Malabar Gold, Meena Jewellers, Sky Jewellery and sponsors Atlas Jewellery, Kanz Jewellers and Chittillappilly Jewellers.

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