UAE: Gold shops, malls see Diwali rush of Indian expats

Shoppers enjoy the first Dhanteras and Diwali without masks after the Covid-19 pandemic

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Shoppers throng a jewellery store in Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photo
Shoppers throng a jewellery store in Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photo

Published: Sat 22 Oct 2022, 8:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Oct 2022, 9:21 PM

Celebrations of the Indian ‘festival of lights’, Diwali, are in full swing in the UAE. Markets are bustling with happy shoppers enjoying the festival without masks for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

Some jewellers reported 50-75 per cent more customers on Dhanteras, which marks the beginning of the five-day long Diwali festival and is considered the most auspicious occasion for buying gold. Price of the precious yellow metal dropped to Dh184.50 on Friday and stood at Dh188.75 on Saturday.


Tushar Patni, an industry veteran, said that all jewellery shops are packed with customers.

“Gold rate has gone up by Dh4 on Friday to Dh188.75 from a year-low the previous day but we are getting good flow of customers. Price is still less compared to earlier months when it reached more than Dh200. Buying gold during Dhanteras is auspicious and brings good luck. So, people are buying gold and silver,” said Patni, managing director of Ajanta Jewellers in Abu Dhabi.


“This year has been better than the previous two years but still we haven’t reached the pre-Covid-19 level. Dhanteras will be celebrated till the first half of Sunday, so, we are expecting more customers. All the shops are packed. All are having good promotions. We are giving offers on making charges.”

Diwali sale in a jewellery store in Abu Dhabi.
Diwali sale in a jewellery store in Abu Dhabi.

The festival sees an intense competition among jewellers trying to lure customers with attractive offers.

Malabar Gold and Diamonds’ largest showroom in Abu Dhabi at Mazyad Mall was jam-packed throughout the day on Saturday.

“This is the first Dhanteras after Covid-19. We have got our biggest stock of gold for this occasion and with a variety of collections. Keeping Dhanteras and Diwali in mind, last month we launched an advance payment scheme. Many customers have benefitted from this scheme that runs till Sunday. We are also giving a free gold coin for every Dh3,000 worth of purchase. We have seen double footfall and are expecting more customers on Sunday,” said Arun Kumar, branch manager of Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Mazyad Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Diwali Mela in a Lulu Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Diwali Mela in a Lulu Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, shopping malls and shops are all decked up in decorative lights. The Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi was the hub of celebrations over the weekend with music, dance and food stalls held as part of Lulu’s ‘Diwali Mela’.

“This will be the first mask-less Diwali celebrations since 2019. Our group is as excited to mark the occasion as the rest of community members. We have decorated our malls and held programmes, which saw huge turnout of people. All our hypermarkets have special Diwali counters too. We are taking all precautionary measures to ensure a safe festival season,” said Nandakumar, director of marketing and communications, Lulu Group.

Celebrations Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Celebrations Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi.

As part of the celebrations, more than 200 community members on Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island held different programmes on Saturday evening. There were dances by children, sweets distribution and lighting of lamps to mark the festival.

Community event to celebrate Diwali on Al Reem Island.
Community event to celebrate Diwali on Al Reem Island.

“There are several activities done to engage families. Such activities are important to ensure that children, especially this generation, are aware about our culture and traditions,” Anil Kumar Kejriwal, a resident, said.

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