Dubai Gold Souq set to get a glittering makeover

The Dubai Gold Souq is a must visit place for tourists and residents looking for the best price to buy gold.

Based on its interactions with traders and customers, the Dubai Municipality will be giving a facelift to Gold Souq in Deira, officials have said.

As part of the efforts to implement the image enhancement programme, the municipality’s customers and partners relations department recently organised a field visit of the top management of the civic body to ascertain the issues faced by the traders in the oldest souq in Dubai.

Officials of different departments have identified and finalised reforms required in the vital market visited by a large numbers of tourists of different ages and nationalities.

Jabir Al Ali, director of the general maintenance department, said that all the observations of the customers in the market have been listened to and taken into account in order to implement all developmental practices in the field of maintenance.

He added that renovations will be carried out across the souq. “We will fix the flooring, add more fans and conduct some maintenance in shops,” said Al Ali. The second phase of renovations will start next year, he added.

The changes come after a meeting with traders to listen to their concerns and complaints.

Redha Salman, director of the public health and safety department at the municipality, said that a preliminary assessment of health and safety standards has been conducted in the Gold Souq and focus will be given to recommend the use of equipment and materials that are adaptive to the climatic conditions.

“We have identified, classified and submitted the recommendations to the departments concerned about the required changes in the market,” he said.

The initiative comes in view of the inability of some traders to leave their shops and their work to go to the municipality themselves to submit their suggestions and observations.

Amin Ahmed Amin, director of Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL), said that his department participated in the filed visit to document the remarks of shop owners and gold and jewellery establishments, and listen to their suggestions.

These suggestions contribute to simplify the procedures leading to their happiness through the tasks entrusted to the DCL in technical aspects such as inspection and collection of samples that are placed in a sealed custom envelope.

“The shop owner sends the sample to the DCL for testing, which is done using the latest technology by highly qualified technicians and analysts in this field to ensure that they comply with the specifications,” he said.

Amin said the DCL officials also conduct laboratory calibration of electronic scales of gold and jewellery shops by using modern technologies and expertise with high efficiency to check and confirm their accuracy, because of its significant impact on the merchant and consumer.

Faridoon Abdul Rahman Al Awadhi, head of security and administrative services section in the assets management department, said officials will study the demand of the customers in the market to provide club cars for the supply of food products in the area. Khalid Mohammed Ahmed, head of urban heritage design projects section in the Architectural Heritage Department, said the souq will be developed in innovative ways to keep abreast of the urban development in the emirate while preserving the distinctive heritage character and giving aesthetic touches on the facades of buildings in the market and providing architectural elements such as umbrellas, ventilation methods, lighting and smart signage through cooperation with the most specialised engineering companies.

Saeed Al Falasi, head of building inspection section in the buildings department, said the department is assigned to monitor all shops in the market in terms of decoration and interior design as well as to check the status of existing buildings and their compatibility with the safety standards of buildings in heritage areas.

Dear to Dubai

A new look to the city’s oldest souq is a great idea. What will be of interest is whether it will be conservation work or transformation of a traditional hangout. From what we understand, it will be an upgrade of sorts, with modern amenities added, while retaining the ethos of the place. The Gold Souq is a historical area, and people come not just to purchase the precious metal and ornaments, but also for the memories that it holds, which is more precious than gold.

MUST KNOW

Dubai Gold Souq

The Dubai Gold Souq is a must visit place for tourists and residents looking for the best price to buy gold. Over 380 retailers offer gold, platinum, diamonds and occasionally silver. The government keeps tight control over the quality of all the merchandise, so rest assured that your purchases will be genuine. Retailers are more than up to the match with haggling. But be fair with your price – there are lots of bargains to find.

Location

>Al Ras Deira. The souq is adjacent to the Deira Corniche near Baniyas Square at Sikkat Al Khali Street.

>The closest bus stand is Deira Bus Stand.

>The Dubai Gold Souq is 5 minutes walk from the Old Souq marine station and 5 minutes walk from Al Ras Metro Station.

Timings

>The Gold Souq remains open from 10am to 10pm from Saturdays to Thursdays, but a few stores are closed from 1pm to 4pm. Shops are open from 4pm to 10pm on Fridays.

>Best time to visit is mid-morning around 11am to avoid the crowd. Information stands help customers know the ongoing gold price to get the best bargain.

Fun Facts

>The world’s largest and heaviest ring called the Najmat Taiba or Star of Taiba that has won a Guinness World Record sits at the window of a shop in the souq. This magnificent ring is mounted with 5.1kg of precious stones and is set on a 64kg 21-carat gold ring, worth about Dh2.2 million.

>According to estimates, approximately 10 tonnes of gold is present at any given time in the souq.

>Dubai Gold Souq is widely known for affordable gold price.

This article provided by NewsEdge.