Dubai, United Arab Emirates — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 April 2009 – The global financial crisis has cooled spending on gold in Dubai, and gold sales here have dropped by between 40 to 60% in the first quarter of 2009, compared to volumes between October and December 2008.
In a statement released here, an official from the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre confirmed the substantial decrease in sales, while the director of gold at the centre, Harendra Kailath, told Reuters the crisis had caused people to cut down on spending because they had less disposable income.
Sales volumes at Dubai-listed jewellery group Damas International Limited were down 11% in the first-quarter of the year, as compared to the same period last year, said company chief executive Tawid Abdullah. He said sales had fallen because consumers were cutting back spending on gold due to higher prices.
Dubai’s gold imports in the first quarter of 2009 grew to 140 tonnes – up 15% on the same period of the previous year, according to data from Dubai World Group.
The value of the gold trade rose some 5 % to US$7.4 billion in the first three months of the year, when compared with the first quarter of last year, data showed. Dubai exported 116 tonnes of gold from January to March.
“Trade data indicated Dubai was coping well with the global financial crisis,” Kailath said.
“A look at the gold sector in general suggests that there are sufficient reasons to remain bullish about Dubai’s ability to ride out the storm and further enhance its position as the city of gold,” he concluded.