Dubai gold sales value rises 34% in June

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Dubai, Tawhid Abdullah, managing director of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, reported that Dubai gold sales rose in value by 34% in June from the same month last year. The value of gold sales in Dubai rose 40% on the year in the second quarter and 35% in the first half of the year.

He cited growing demand from Middle Eastern buyers and expatriates ahead of summer holidays, and said he expects to see a “40% increase in sales value in July.”

Saudi Arabia and Egypt were among Middle East countries that drove demand for Dubai's gold jewellery, Abdullah said.

He did not detail the volume of Dubai gold sales.

Some local traders feared gold sales volume in the United Arab Emirates could fall by about 10 per cent in volume in 2007, as they did in the previous year due to both volatile and high prices.

But industry executives said the regional appetite for gold remains strong despite relatively high prices.

In May 2006, spot gold bullion hit a 26-year high at $730 an ounce. It closed at $652.30/653.10 a troy ounce by 1515GMT in Europe on Friday.

Tax-free jewellery in the UAE's gold souks and shopping malls draws Gulf and Western tourists.

The Gulf region's economies grew about seven per cent in 2006, driven by high oil prices, bringing with it increasing appetite for jewellery.

The World Gold Council said in a report in May that first-quarter demand in the United Arab Emirates rose 5.7% to 29.7 tonnes while sales value jumped 23.9% to $741 million.

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