By: Mahmoud Gamal
Dubai – Mubasher: Gold sales across the six GCC member states increased by around 10% to 30% in 2018 as families sought to buy more of the precious metal, whose prices had reached attractive price levels amid ongoing political turmoil both in the region and globally.
Gold prices in the GCC rose by around 3% in the period from the end of 2017 until 25 December 2018, statistics conducted by Mubasher showed.
Analysts and officials at gold and jewellery shops told Mubasher that the precious metal’s sales had risen by 15% to 30% in 2018 on the back of several factors including the imposing of the value-added tax (VAT) in Saudi Arabia and its cancellation in the UAE.
The UAE Cabinet’s decision to exempt gold from the VAT is a ‘historic decision’, Golden Shop manager Ahmed Seify told Mubasher, noting that decision had helped the market significantly after it suffered a major ‘recession’ earlier in the year.
Moreover, the UAE decree of allowing tourists to get a VAT refund has also helped gold sales, Seify went on.
Meanwhile, general manager of the Golden Princess Jewellery Shop Yacoub Al-Filkawy stated that imposing the VAT across GCC member states had impacted the gold and jewellery trade as a whole, raising wages and costs, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the tax, consumers got used to its two or three months after it was imposed, Al Filkawy noted, adding that gold sales tend to rise during the Hajj season.
Countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait need to work more on tourism to allow new visitors into the country, Al Filkawy said, using Dubai as an example to follow.