By Suzi Dixon www.telegraph.co.uk
Despite high international prices, gold is still seen as a stable investment. Discounts and promotions at the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) – including the chance to win up to three kilos of gold – have recently helped boost sales in the Middle East.
Since the start of the DSF in 1996, more than 664kg of gold has been given away in prizes. This year’s promotion offered shoppers the chance to take home 19 kilogrammes of gold of an estimated value of Dh4 million, with half a kilo of gold up for grabs each day alongside the three kilos jackpot.
It is thought an Indian tourist holds the winning ticket, and officials are waiting for him to return to the UAE to claim his prize.
To take advantage of tourist sales, many Dubai jewellers are launching “gold-on-the-go” outlets for speedy sales.
BRR Jewellery opened BRR Gold Express in the Gold Centre, a hub of Dubai’s wholesale and retail gold business, while Damas is in the process of opening a miniature outlet in the Gold Souq or Gold Centre.
Other major gold retailers have plans for kiosks in malls.
Gold is also increasingly popular across Asia. In the third quarter of 2011, China overtook India as the world’s largest consumer of gold, a trend that is expected to continue throughout 2012.
While Chinese New Year is always a busy time for gold retailers, due to the metal’s popularity as a gift, this year saw record sales.
Gold imports from Hong Kong more than trebled in 2011, hitting a record 428 tonnes as savers flocked to the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation.
In addition, gold stores in Beijing reported sale increases of between 50 per cent and 60 per cent. More info