As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you.
Dubai is the world famous city of the United Arab Emirates, the name of which has become synonymous with luxury, modern architecture, and nowhere-else- found opportunities. Dubai is often called The City of Gold, and very rightly so!
With countless numbers of retailers at the same place and the largest display of gold with the least amount of apparent security, Dubai gold market has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And of course, the best place to go to when buying gold!
Here are some tips for buying gold in Dubai that will ensure that you make the best, most reasonable and well-informed purchases, and get the most value for your money.
Check Out the Gold Souk
The Gold Souk Dubai Mall is located in Deira. The place is very well known and one would have no problem at all reaching there through taxi, local transport or just by asking directions. There are other places as well such as the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre or the shops on Hamdan Street, but this Souk is where you can find the most variety and the most rush. Assortments include imported designs of Indian and Arabic styles, as wells as modern European and even Italian fashion.
The place is filled with various shops that will offer you various designs and prices. One way to start could be to visit the most famous shops first, so as to get a better idea of the playing field.
Damas and Marhaba are known to have the latest, most modern-style designs in jewelry. Joylukkas is known for their traditional, Indian style designs which are also very attractive and popular. A few other stores like Barakat and Yasir also very well-liked. However, it is highly recommended to visit as many shops as you can to get yourself a variety of designs, prices, deals and so on.
Gold Designs in Dubai
It is obviously important to know exactly what kind of product will be available to you. The Souk has almost everything that one can think of, from proper full sets, to separate earrings, necklaces and rings etc. Pieces a bit different from regular are also available such as chains, anklets, headbands. Diamond rings and bangles are popular items. Moreover, items aside from jewelry are also available such as watches, cufflinks and even money holders.
Designs are ever-changing, with white gold in chromium designs showing up a little more recently. However, a lot of people are still fond of yellow gold and there is more than enough variety available for that as well.
To get the most fresh pieces, it is recommended to visit the Souk during the infamous shopping festivals if possible because that is usually when retailers have the most up to date designs.
Furthermore, if you are a picky shopper or you have a certain design or item that you want to have made, this is the place that offers that as well!
In order to have custom made designs, a great tip is to get in contact a bit before hand or when you have a little time to get the best result and the least amount charged. It is also a good idea to have pictures similar to what you want to get made.
Price of Gold
The price is mostly set according to the type of gold i.e. what karat gold it is (A 22K brick would cost different than a 24K brick). Until January 2018, customers did not have to pay VAT for gold bought in Dubai, which made it pretty cheap! However, there is now a 5% VAT tax to be paid.
Most of the stores have the prices per grams of gold displayed on a list somewhere in the shop. If not, you can and should ask for the exact rates per gram on that day, as it is continually changing. Most of the shops have similar prices due to the competition. There is always a charge for workmanship that is supposed to cover all the effort that went in making that particular piece, such as time, detail, machine or manual labor. It is smart for a customer to calculate the exact amount that is being charged for the workmanship, as knowing this immensely helps in bargaining.
If you have some old gold that you don’t want anymore, there are some shops in the Souk that might be interested in buying it from you as well. Some might also be up for an exchange, which is a great option. The tip here is to be prepared with receipts, certificates, hallmarks and so on to ensure a quick and smooth exchange!
Cash or Credit Card?
While it may be more convenient to use cards to pay, especially when you’re spending this much money, it is actually very highly recommended to pay in cash. This tip is actually guaranteed to save you a lot of money. It is a noticed trend that the shopkeepers are less likely to negotiate prices with you and lower them if you are paying through cards. There is a far better chance of them accepting a lower price if you are paying them by cash in hand instantly. This tiny inconvenience will totally be worth it because of the amount of money you could possibly save!
To Haggle or Not to Haggle?
This is what it comes down to. The shopkeepers are trying to get as much money from you as possible, so it is of utmost importance that you try to pay as little as possible for what you are buying. Haggling is your best bet to do that!
The first thing is to buy only as much as you’re comfortable with. After you have checked rates at all the shops, go back to the one with the lowest and bargain further. The trick is to have conviction in whatever you say and realize what is and isn’t worth spending on, all while making sure you don’t upset the seller. Also, be sure to ask for discounts on buying multiple pieces. Using these tips, you won’t get ripped off.
Dubai Gold Souk Online
Another option is to buy Dubai Souk gold online. This is an easier option, more convenient obviously because it does not require you to be physically present and you can check varieties and prices all while sitting in one place. However, this way is only recommended if you have absolutely no way of going. This option requires you have to have a very sound knowledge of prices and their fluctuations. You should also be good at judging quality and credibility. There is also little room for haggling this way as you are not directly in contact with the seller and might even be dealing with a middleman.
Buying Gold at Dubai Airport
If for some reason you do not have the time to make it to the Deira Souk or you are not even going to Dubai and have a stop at Dubai Airport, you can even buy gold from there. Again, this option would also have a little less variety in designs and prices than the actual Souk market, but it is not a bad option. Terminal 1 and 3 of the Dubai Airport are where you can buy gold, with Terminal 3 being the best choice. These shops are open 24/7 throughout the year so there is no issue of timing. The tip here, however, is to research and know what you want beforehand so you can manage in whatever time you have.
Treat It as an Investment
The most important thing in buying gold is to remember to treat it as an investment. While it’s debatable whether investing in gold is better than investing in stocks or something else, it is definitely an investment. Owning gold gives you purchasing power, and this fact has remained stable throughout inflationary times in history. A gram of gold has the same recognized value as any gram of gold in the world, leading to easy trade. And even in the form of jewelry, gold is a way of passing tangible wealth down to future generations. Make well-informed purchases of gold and then keep an eye on the state of the market, and it will surely pay off!