Gold is on the shopping list for many travellers to Dubai. The UAE is one of the world's largest importers and goldsmiths in Dubai do not have to pay any taxes on their purchases.
As a buyer, you are not subject to any taxes either, so you get the gold at market price. That's why gold is high on the shopping list for most visitors to Dubai, with tourism authorities saying that as many as 95 per cent of people travelling to Dubai buy the precious metal back home, in some form.
The quality is high. Most of the gold sold in the gold souk is at least 22 carats and the risk of being tricked into buying fake gold is low, as the authorities' controls are strict.
Some things to consider:
- The gold standard we have in Sweden is redder than the gold colour in many other countries, which means that the gold jewellery you buy in Dubai is significantly yellower than gold jewellery bought in Sweden.
- The fact that the gold in Dubai is of a higher carat than in Sweden - the Swedish standard in jewellery is 18 carat and in Dubai it is 22 carat - means that the metal is softer.
- According to Swedish customs rules, you must pay tax on imports of goods exceeding a value of SEK 4,300. Whether you do or not is up to your conscience.
Caution when buying gold in Dubai
The most important thing to remember is to bargain when buying a piece of jewellery or other item made of gold. Because even if the price of the commodity is fixed and follows market rate the smiths will always overcharge for their work. Because that's where they make their margins.
The best thing you can do is to negotiate only the price of the work (making charges), not the total amount. This shows that you know what is involved and gives you the best chance of getting the best possible price.
If you feel that the price is not what you expected, move on. There are around 700 shops in the souk to bargain in. Or try walking on - you'll probably get a much better price as soon as you turn your back and start walking.
Cash is king
You can pay by card, but for the best bargain, cash is preferred. If you don't want to carry large sums, you can withdraw cash from an ATM after you and the seller have agreed on the price.
Best selection during the festivals
For the best selection of jewellery, visit Dubai during the winter Dubai Shopping Festival or Dubai Summer Festival, when the stores launch new collections. But at the same time, prices are highest during these weeks. The best bargain period is during the off-season, outside the festival weeks.
Experience the Gold Souk with a guide
If you want advice from someone who really knows Dubai, you can visit the Gold Souk with a guide. The Gold Souk is included in several sightseeing tours that we highly recommend.
One example is the Dubai Culture Tour, a four-hour guided tour that, in addition to the Golden Souk, also visits the Dubai Museum, Dubai Mall and the Bait Al Banat Women's Museum.
" Read more and book here
Film from the Gold Souk in Dubai
The footage is a little shaky, but gives a sense of what to expect from a visit to Dubai's gold market.
Tips! Book attractions and excursions in Dubai
Heading to Dubai? Book tickets for attractions and excursions, safely and quickly through our partner GetYourGuide. Below are some suggestions and here you will find everything you can book in Dubai.
(Page updated 2018-09-06.)