Dubai 2008 Gold Trade Up 53% in 2008

The total gold trade through Dubai reached a record $29 billion in 2008, an increase of 53 percent year-over-year, according to the Dubai World Statistics Department.

For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2008, a total of 674 tons of gold was imported into Dubai, up 21 percent year-over-year, according to the data released Monday. During the same period, gold exports from Dubai increased 29 percent to 371 tons.

More than 100 countries served as gold import partners into Dubai in 2008, led by the United Kingdom and India. During the same period, Dubai exported gold to a record 64 nations, with India and Switzerland topping the list of export partners.

“Gold prices surged to an all-time record high during the first quarter of 2008 leading to a significant inflow of gold scrap into Dubai for refining,” said David Rutledge, chief executive officer of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. “The subsequent slowdown in prices during the last quarter of the year led to a major increase in bullion imports into Dubai, showing that the emirate has become a market for all seasons.”

The total value of the gold traded through Dubai in the second half of 2008 reached $15.99 billion, up 57 percent year-over-year, according to the data. For the first six months in 2008, the gold traded through Dubai totaled 22 percent to $13.07 billion.

“The positive figures for 2008, demonstrate the emirate’s increasingly important role as a center for the regional and global gold trade,” Rutledge said. “Despite expected extremely challenging international financial conditions this year, Dubai remains well positioned to sustain its performance.”