Dubai Dispatch

Dubai, the City of Gold—its name resonates with the precious metal. Though affluent Arabs increasingly favor diamonds, gold hasn't lost its luster yet in the United Arab Emirates whose citizens show a great penchant for it. According to the World Gold Council's Dubai office, gold sales in the first quarter of 2006 increased to 2.1 billion UAE dirhams compared with 1.9 billion dirhams in the same period in the previous year. Dubai's booming gold and jewelry market has also been one of the major factors contributing to the exponential growth of tourism in the Emirates. Industry statistics reveal that about 45 metric tons of jewelry were manufactured in Dubai in 2003 using scrap gold and bullion bars. This figure is expected to increase by 25 percent in the next two to three years. Says Chandu Siroya, director of Siroya Jewelers, “Dubai is one of the cheapest places to buy jewelry, as
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