What does a McLaren in White Metal, a 50 carat Buglari Serpenti bracelet, ATMs spewing bullion bars, an iPhone made of 24 carat gold, gold decked SUVs, gold flavoured chocolates and toilet seats made of Gold have in common? All have their origins in Dubai, one of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates (UAE), and a destination where gold meets fashion.
Gold in Dubai, a place that connects 20-40 percent of global trade, is not just a commodity. Although Johannesburg is still the official Gold Capital, Dubai is certainly the unofficial Gold Capital given its eco-system of refiners, bullion exchanges, agencies and jewellers of all sizes wooing all kinds of customers. The Today Gold Rates in Dubai helps readers track rates and trends when it comes to Gold-jewellery and bullion in Dubai. Rates mentioned here are devoid of taxes and may include vary marginal making charges.
Dubai & Gold:
Dubai's popularity as a key Gold hub in the middle-east connecting European, and American markets to the Asian ones has been well-established. Besides a large eco-system, Dubai has the presence of some of the biggest refiners such as Kaloti as well as swiss refiner PAMP and a well-established commodity exchange. The trade itself can be categorized into bullion and jewellery, for ease of understanding.
Dubai's Bullion eco-system has evolved over the years to comprise of an intricate network of refiners, bullion wholesalers, distributers, security agencies, banks and a regulated broking system. The DMCC (Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre) enabled trading on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX). DGCX commenced trading in gold futures (DGSG) from 2006 with the benchmark of one kilo bar (.995 purity) of gold. Trading is conducted USD while a similar futures contract for Silver also exists. The exchange also allows trade in spot-Gold (SG). Settlement and clearing for DGCX contracts is through the Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation (DCCC).
Unlike the USD denominated gold contracts, physical gold trade in Dubai is placed in AED. When it comes to bars and coins, traders are most likely to sell at rates on the DGCX Spot Gold plus a premium. Usually, the premium is a sum of the settlement/delivery cost plus the cost of traders' margins. But many times, buyers have reported of managing to crack a deal for a smaller margin. That, at the world's most affordable place to buy Gold.
Jewellery in Dubai: This is the land of bling and shopping. And if you ask how big, you should give the Gold Souk at Deira a visit. According to Dubai's City of Gold website, the Deira Gold Souk on an average reports 10 tonnes of Gold at any time, making it the biggest congregation of jewellers and bullion dealers in the entire of middle-east.
If you are buying jewellery, most jewellers have their individual rate-card. The rates can fluctuate, but are well within the prescriptive range of the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, a local trade body. Jewellers sell gold of purity from 24 through 18 Karats which also includes a dazzling assortment of diamonds and gemstones. Purity below 18 karats does not find much appeal.
The Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group is an industry body made up of 600 members representing all sectors of the trade such as bullion, gold and diamond jewellery manufacturing, wholesale & retail of jewellery, precious metals, diamond and pearl. The body has been promoting Gold and Bullion activities in Dubai and also responsible for educating customers on daily prescriptive rates. After the introduction of GST in India, Dubai did brisk business but the implementation of Sales Tax did result in a marginal drop. The agency conducts several promotions including raffles during the Dubai Shopping Festival. As on date Dubai has over 350 certified retail jewellers.
Why is Gold cheap in Dubai?
Dubai has continued on the idea of free trade and hence whatever Gold arrives in Dubai carries no duty. The only duty one pays is during re-export to select countries such as India. In recent times, the imposition of sales tax may have rubbed the sheen off on Dubai Gold, but the emirate-city has managed to retain some of the old charm.
The affinity towards Dubai Gold is prominent among Indians and has been observed since the 60s. Gold smuggled into India, back then, not only resulted in sleepless nights for Indian policy-makers but also inspired a breed of movies with smuggling at the centre of their plot. In 2020, the difference in Gold rates between Mumbai and Dubai works out to a whopping 20 percent, thereby resulting in several instances of smuggling. Indian authorities therefore have placed several restrictions including customs duties.
Customs Policy for Bringing Gold from Dubai to India:
There are umpteen restrictions when it comes to travellers arriving in India with Gold. If you are travelling from Dubai to any port of India, it is advised that you clearly state the amount of Gold that you are travelling with. The Indian law mandates paying applicable valid fees towards customs and educational cess at the time of declaration.
For Indian citizens, the understanding is quite straight-forward. Men are allowed to bring 20 grams of jewellery with a limit of Rs 50,000 and women are allowed 40 grams of gold-jewellery not beyond Rs 100,000. The allowances are only for individuals who have resided in Dubai for over one year. Bullion bars and coins, irrespective of their weight result in a customs duty. A note of caution for those planning their travel – non declaration of gold to customs officials can result in confiscation.
For a non-Indian citizen, the UAE embassy states that 10 kilograms of Gold is allowed. However, the passenger must pay a customs duty on coins, bars and jewellery before commencing his journey. The customs duty works out to 36.05 percent exclusive of educational cess. The tariff and customs duty are dynamic and the Government of India announces revisions periodically.
Tax in Dubai:
From 2018 onwards, the Dubai administration imposed a 5 percent Value Added Tax on Gold jewellery and later ratified the move to only retail jewellery (excluded VAT for wholesale gold and diamonds). With this, jewellery, even the 24 Karat brittle ones were sold at retail price plus VAT of 5%. Sales of Gold in Dubai slumped after the announcement, although Dubai still retains its crown as the most affordable place to buy Gold.
Besides VAT, there is zero sales tax or capital gains tax. VAT on bullion irrespective of coins and bars is zero-rated. The other form of tax that you may want to be aware of is Zakat.
Zakat is applicable on Gold and Silver and mandatory for Muslims. However, one need not pay tax on every gold purchase. The Zakat computation is applicable only if one owns over 85 grams of Gold in a lunar year. For Gold alloys, one would need to calculate the total quantity of Gold to understand the Zakat. The total quantity of Gold on which Zakat is applicable is called Nisab.
The calculation of Zakat is: Weight of Gold or Silver in grams minus stones multiplied by the rate of Gold on the day of calculating Zakat multiplied by 2.5 percent.
Zakat is considered among the five pillars of Islam and helps the needy. Zakat can be paid in Gold as well - one will have to donate 2.5 percent of Gold for every 100 grams saved or on savings done during the lunar year.
Gold Rate Fluctuations:
The retail price of Jewellery has remained more or less stable in Dubai although the bullion rate can change in a single day owing to international fluctuations. The rates are based on the LBMA auction price that is conducted twice through the day. Thanks to lower refining and transportation costs, Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCE) has managed to avert volatilities. Rates quoted by jewellers remain in sync with international benchmarks and the live bullion spot-rate.
Best time & place to buy gold:
The Dubai Shopping Festival and Summer Surprises can offer you unheard of discounts and freebies. Buying Gold in Dubai during these festive times can definitely be rewarding - winning kilos of Gold in the Raffles and other promotions.
Gold is in demand through the year and the Dubai Souk turns out to be the most affordable option for gold-buyers. The Gold Souk reportedly has over 400 shops to choose from with each of them selling unique necklaces, pendants, earrings, bangles, and bracelets. If you are visiting for the first time be ready to be captivated with the sheen - there's white, green, pink, yellow and even purple gold with varying design elements. When it comes to style, Dubai is among the most cosmopolitan of Gulf cities and can surprise you with a fine-blend of Arabic, Indian, European, and contemporary design sensibilities.
It is advisable to inquire on hallmarking certificates and the bill. When it comes to transactions, be reminded that some jewellers could charge you for swiping a credit card.
Besides the Souk at Deira, you may find jewellers at Al Mia Road (Al Raffah) and at the Dubai Gold and Diamond Park at Sheikh Zayek Road in Al Quoz. It is better to plan your travel although the three locations are within a 25 km radius.
Some of the popular jewellers you would come across in Dubai includes Taiba Jewellery, Joyalukkas, Damas, Atlas Jewellery, Ary Jewellers, Popley & Sons, Bhima Jewellers, Kalyan Jewellers, Chitilappilly Jewellers etc.
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