1. More than 150 regional and international industry professionals participate in one-day event
2. Dubai strengthens â€˜City of Goldâ€™ status amid challenging global conditions
3. Dubai gold imports up 15 per cent in Q1 2009
â€œDubaiâ€™s gold industry has become a market for all seasons,â€ according to international and regional gold experts and traders, who gathered today (April 27, 2009) at the inaugural â€œDMCC Gold Convention: 2009 – Year of the Bull or Bear?,â€ held at Atlantis, The Palm. Experts at the event highlighted that growth opportunities for the gold trade still exist despite challenging conditions globally.
The forum brought together bankers, traders, investment professionals, jewellers, miners, refiners and other stakeholders to discuss and gain insights into price trends, demand-and-supply dynamics and other issues that impact the gold industry.
â€œDuring this period of considerable volatility in the global and regional gold trade, it is essential that we come together to address the challenges and more importantly the opportunities that lie ahead,â€ said Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC. â€œIn line with this vision, and as a key facilitator of the gold industry, DMCC is pleased to host this unique event to revitalise the emirateâ€™s position as the City of Gold.
â€œWhen compared to mainstream financial instruments and the performance of other commodities, goldâ€™s importance as an alternative store of wealth continues to excel and to maintain its leading position ahead of other valuable commodities,â€ he added. â€œWith very low interest rates and governments injecting liquidity into the economy, goldâ€™s safe-haven appeal will endure due to the fact that investor confidence is still at an all time low, if not completely dead. These factors will also support the future prospects for gold in the UAE and the wider region. We are confident that the many insights from todayâ€™s dialogue will prove valuable in charting out a new growth strategy for the gold industry.â€
According to figures from Dubai World Statistics department, Dubai imported a total of 140 tonnes of gold during the first quarter of 2009, up by 15 per cent compared to 122 tonnes during the same period in 2008. In the first quarter of 2009, 116 tonnes of gold were exported from Dubai. In the same period, the value of gold trade in Dubai grew to 7.4 billion, up slightly from 7.06 billion in the corresponding period in 2008.
Pakistan and India were Dubaiâ€™s top import partners during the period, while Switzerland and India were the top export partners. The average gold price in the first quarter of 2009 stood at US$908 per ounce.
Harendra Kailath, Director â€“ Gold, DMCC, said: â€œA look at the gold sector in general suggests that there are sufficient reasons to remain bullish about Dubaiâ€™s ability to ride out the storm and further enhance its position as the City of Gold. The Government of Dubai and DMCC, in particular, remain firmly committed to working with Dubaiâ€™s gold industry.â€
He added, â€œOver the last few years, DMCC has launched a range of initiatives, the most recent being Dubai Gold Securities and the Almas Tower Vault. Initiatives such as these will provide further impetus to the growth and development of the sector.â€
Anan Fakhreddin, Managing Director, Middle East and Turkey, World Gold Council, said: â€œDubaiâ€™s key role as the hub of gold in regional and international markets is more vital now than ever before. In these uncertain times, goldâ€™s ability to preserve wealth has become a key attribute for many investors. Through this conference we aim to share our knowledge on gold as an important asset class and potential safe haven.â€
Providing insights on whether 2009 will be the year of the bull or the bear, Walter De Wet, Head of Commodities Research at Standard Bank, said: â€œThe sharp drop in demand for physical commodities and a thirst for liquidity has resulted in investment demand falling. However, gold has in many respects been an outlier as far as commodities are concerned, with investment demand rising fast. We expect investment demand for gold to remain robust in 2009.â€
The DMCC Gold Convention included presentations from Standard Bank Plc on the relative position of gold in the commodities complex; the investment case for gold by the World Gold Council; price and demand-supply trends by GFMS Ltd; strategic insights from McKinsey & Co; and the latest innovations in Sharia-compliant gold investments by Dubai Gold Securities. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion that saw local and international experts discuss their views on the outlook for gold prices in 2009.
The DMCC Gold Convention is supported by Standard Bank Plc and the World Gold Council as the main sponsors, while CNBC Arabiya is the official broadcaster for the event.