Gold souq polished up and scaled down


By Rory Jones

The gold souq in Dubai Mall has reopened after a nine-month closure during which the market underwent a major redesign.

Rebranded The Souk, the huge area in the middle of one of the world’s biggest malls now has a long, wide avenue running through it, where it once had a labyrinth of walkways.

The redesign includes three life-size metal camels at the entrance, a corridor of ladies’ Arabic fashions and small wagons that run along the main avenue selling jewellery.

“I think I like it, personally,” said Jay Soni, the general manager for Manish Jewellers, which opened its store in the new souq on Wednesday. “Now I can see people walking in. They would get lost in the corridors before.”

Emaar Properties, the developer behind Dubai Mall, decided to overhaul the gold souq last year after a flurry of jewellers went out of business because they could not survive on the trickle of tourists visiting the market each day.

As many as 50 jewellers pulled out, some leaving unpaid rents and being chased last year by Emaar via the Dubai Municipality Rent Committee.

The gold souq has now been cut from more than 200 retailers to about 50. More info