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05 Nov 2015

Dubai Gold Souk

The Dubai Gold Souk is one of the largest gold retail markets in the world, and an iconic, must-see site to experience when you are in Dubai. A traditional market (or Souk), this glittering expanse is symbolic of the opulence of Dubai.

Located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial district of Deira, the Souk is just a five minute walk from the old Souk marine station and bordered by the Dubai Vegetable & Fish Market and the Deira Corniche. Ideal access to the Souk is through the underwater Shindagha Tunnel, the driverless Dubai Metro at Al Ghubaiba, or by water taxi - ‘Abra’ from the Creek in Bur Dubai.

The dazzling environs of the Dubai Gold Souk give Dubai the fitting title, ‘City of Gold.’ But that’s not all. The Souk also trades in precious metals such as platinum, diamonds and silver and consists of over 300 retailers trading in an impressive collection of exclusive jewellery in the area of just half a square kilometre.

Prices at Dubai Gold Souk are some of the most competitive in the world and are, for the most part, determined by weight and the daily gold rate. The fluctuations in world gold prices, types of gold and craftsmanship are the main factors that determine the final price of jewellery. The quality of the merchandise found here is strictly controlled by the government. So you can be rest assured about the quality of your purchases here. If you plan on purchasing something, make sure to bargain hard when at the Gold Souk.

The Dubai Gold Souk has a stunning range and selection of merchandise. It features a glittering and grandiose collection of 18, 21, 22 and 24 carat gold in a variety of forms, such as earrings, rings, necklaces, bangles, bracelets and pendants. In spoiling its customers with choices, the Souk also presents gold classifications in white, pink, and purple to its diverse collection for sale. Craftsmanship found here is both impeccable and awe-inspiring. The Souk’s ambiance could be best experienced at night, when the lavish collections of merchandise come dazzlingly alive under sparkling display windows.

The Souk has come a long way and has grown exponentially since its inception in the 1900s. From just a few traders, it recorded its first-ever notable growth spurt during the 1940s and 1950s when Dubai’s free trade policies incentivized traders from India and Iran to set up shop in the Emirate. The Souk recorded its next major phase of growth as a knock-on effect of the expansion brought about by the oil boom in the 1970s. Today, it sits poised in all pomposity as one of the largest gold markets in the world.

A touch of tradition is still visible in the crafts and ambiance seen here at the Dubai Gold Souk. Though modernized and refurbished to be on par with international standards, the Souk still retains the old world charm of the Arab world, through iconic wooden archways and narrow alleys that are characteristic of the architecture of the region.

According to some estimates, the Souk holds approximately 10 tons of gold at any given time and about 20 percent of the world’s gold passes through this market. It might be interesting to note that considering the volume of gold traded at the Souk, gold dust gathered through housekeeping day by day at the Dubai Gold Souk is substantial enough to be sent back to the refinery for casting.

Even if you don’t intend to shop here, it’s well worth the visit. It is glittering evidence that the Souk has truly established the Emirate of Dubai as the ‘City of Gold’.

 

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04 Nov 2014

Dubai Summer Surprises

Fun Times, Great Deals and Unexpected Gains Galore

As the summer sizzles on, Dubai offers yet another event, and it comes in the form of Emirate’s very own summer fest, the ‘Dubai Summer Surprises’ (DSS). Presently in its 18th year, the DSS offers super deals across shopping centres, spas, restaurants and more. 

Launched in 1996 with a mission to position Dubai as an international summer destination, DSS is an event that is scheduled annually from August to September in Dubai. The celebration is one of the principal summer attractions in the city, with GCC occupants and tourists thronging the city, looking for deals in more than 6000 stores. 

According to figures released by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), DSS has hosted more than 25,774,400 guests who infused an aggregate of AED 43.62 billion into the economy in the last 14 years. The 2014 season of this festival launched on a high note with the theme ‘The Fun Side of Summer.' 

Shoppers’ Paradise

At DSS, be prepared to be surprised. It astonishes and delights shoppers, both residents and tourists that throng to take advantage of its many offers across all categories of consumer durables, luxury items and consumer goods. 

Apart from the shopping districts, the plush shopping malls also participate in DSS and are hosts to a range of simulation shows, presentations, play areas, fun zones and entertainment. When it comes to sizzling shopping deals, Dubai is the place to have it all. 

Shopping malls and retail outlets have recorded a rise in sales and footfall while hotels have registered high occupancy levels. Cars, clothes, home-decor and perfumes were recorded as the most “shopped for” merchandise in 2014. Great deals, prizes and surprises fuelled anticipation at this year’s ‘Summer is Dubai’ promotion. For each spend of AED 200 at a participating mall, customers stand a chance to win one of six BMW cars and shopping vouchers worth AED 500,000 with attractive bargains at shops across the city. As much as 75% of discount at some retail outlets are up for grabs. 

Family Fun

DSS is a guaranteed boredom-buster for children on their extended summer vacation. It goes a step further in catering to children of all ages, from toddlers, adolescents to teenagers, through one excitement-packed venue called Modhesh World. Hailed as a child’s dream zone here in the region, Modhesh World comes alive and buzzing with playgrounds, soft toy areas, latest video games and excitement-packed 4D cinema experiences. If that’s not enough, it tops it all off by delighting its junior customers through the presence of its festival mascot, the smiling-and-sunny-yellow-clad ‘Modhesh,' who fittingly keeps to the season’s colour theme. 

Influx of Visitors

Emirates Airline has reported that they have seen a large number of additional travellers lured to Dubai by DSS, with visitors originating from both the GCC locale and the rest of the world. 

Boosting Economy

The Dubai economy has been given a huge boost with DSS in 2014 alone, with shopping centres and retailers over the Emirate reporting an increase in guest numbers and revenue over the previous year. Hotels too listed high occupancy levels as the DSS impact penetrates the retail and other financial segments of Dubai. 

In 2014’s summer promotion Majid Al Futtaim Properties Group, a vital partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, professes that extraordinary summer advancements and arrangements have seen a 39% increase in sales this summer. 

Furthermore, hotel occupancy in Jumeirah Group hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 70.2%, an increase of 3.6% on the same period last year. 

Relaxation & Leisure

To keep yourself entertained, you can additionally get show tickets to watch your beloved artists perform, or unwind in one of the numerous jazz clubs or mixed drink lounges. If you are a theatre aficionado, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) offers the best of both regional and international thespians. 

Head over and experience ‘Dubai Summer Surprises.' You’ll certainly come back for more! 

 

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