Brisk Chinese diamond demand at Dubai Old Gold Souq
DUBAI, February 2, 2013 – Chinese tourist demand for certified diamonds at the Old Gold Souq has been brisk during the Dubai Shopping Festival which is now winding up, jewellers said.
The Old Gold Souq in downtown Dubai houses scores of gold, diamond and silver jewellers. Under the roof of the souq, the main foreign customers are typically tourists visiting from countries such as China, Russia, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Italy and Australia seeking bargain deals compared to jewellery that is taxed more at home.
The month-long Dubai Shopping Festival, which ends on February 3, has seen steady footfall compared with recent years, jewellers at the Old Gold Souq said.
They told Jewellery Outlook that Chinese visitors frequently requested certified diamonds which they regarded as investments, while Russian tourists preferred to buy diamond jewellery, gold and silver.
Diamonds available at the Old Gold Souq in Dubai were certified by the GIA, IGI and HRD, the jewellers said.
“It is important for the Chinese that the diamonds are certified. The Chinese are also increasingly buying filigree gold jewellery designs,” one jeweller at the Old Gold Souq said.
Another jeweller said, “Many Chinese buy white diamonds. They want the best quality.”
A third jeweller said, “The Russians buy everything – gold, diamonds, platinum jewellery.”
Many Indian customers prefer to buy 22-karat gold away from the Old Gold Souq, rather than the 18-karat gold jewellery available inside the souq, jewellers said.
However, one Indian jeweller said, “Some Indian customers are turning to 18-karat gold because they like the designs and the varieties of goods available.”
Emirati customers are frequent visitors to the Old Gold Souq where they tend to buy gold with investment in mind, jewellers said.
Gold bars are for sale at jewellery stores in the souq.
The shop at Al Romaizan Gold & Jewellery, packed with Arab customers, presented some huge and intricate yellow gold jewellery pieces studded with gemstones in Arabic
styles which caught the attention of groups of foreign tourists passing by.
Brazilian tourists had often bought yellow gold chains and necklaces in the souq during the Dubai Shopping Festival, a sales executive at Marhaba said.
Russian, German and Italian tourists often buy silver jewellery pieces, a sales executive at Metro Jewellers said.
One jeweller said he believed that demand from UK customers was down at this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival, possibly a reflection of the weak UK economy.