UAE: Gold jewellery demand jumps 117% in third quarter of 2021 thanks to 'improving tourist arrivals'


World Gold Council said all markets across the Middle East witnessed year-on-year growth in Q3 jewellery demand.


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 11:07 AM

Last updated: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 11:23 AM

The gold jewellery demand in the UAE jumped more than doubled in the third quarter of 2021, thanks to the return of tourists and the opening of the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Gold Council’s data released on Thursday, demand for gold jewellery in the UAE increased 116 per cent from 3.8 tonnes in Q3 last year to 8.2 tonnes in Q3 2021, aided by improving tourist arrivals – especially from India.

Demand for gold bars and coins also rose significantly during the last quarter, increasing 35 per cent to 1.9 tonnes in Q3 2021 as compared to 1.4 tonnes during Q3 last year.

While total demand for gold nearly doubled, too, from 5.2 tonnes in Q3 last year to 10.1 tonnes in Q3 this year.

World Gold Council said all markets across the Middle East witnessed year-on-year growth in Q3 jewellery demand, due to a combination of lower and relatively stable gold prices and easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Iran saw a 60 per cent year-on-year rise in demand to 7 tonnes, further aided by a period of relative currency stability.

Globally, the jewellery market continued to recover from 2020’s pandemic-driven weakness as Q3 demand grew 33 per cent year-on-year to 443 tonnes, led by China, India and Middle East.

Jewellery demand in India in Q3 increased approximately 60 per cent both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, due to strong pent-up demand, a rebound in economic activity and lower gold prices.

“Having been locked down for much of Q2 to combat the severe second wave of Covid-19, jewellery demand bounced back sharply in the third quarter. An acceleration in the vaccination programme and a strong end to the monsoon season further boosted consumer sentiment,” World Gold Council said.

Globally, demand for gold fell 7 per cent year-on-year and 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 831 tonnes, primarily due to outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds (gold ETFs).

The gold price averaged $1,790 per ounce throughout the third quarter.

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“The outflows themselves are part of a bigger picture. A year ago, investors were flocking to gold, seeking a hedge against the pandemic. And gold ETFs were particular beneficiaries of these flows, adding more than 1,000 tonnes over the first three quarters of 2020. So, while there has been selling by gold ETF investors this year, the outflows have been modest in comparison,” said Louise Street, senior markets analyst at the World Gold Council.

“Looking forward, we expect the full-year picture for gold demand to look very similar: strong consumer and the central bank will mitigate losses from ETFs. Jewellery demand will continue to exceed last year’s levels, but investment demand in total will be weaker in 2021, despite healthy bar and coin demand,” he added.

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