Over the years, thousands of gold traders, jewellers, artisans and businessmen have flocked to Dubai to make the gold trade a lucrative business and further strengthen the position of Dubai as “The City of Gold” and “Jewellery Destination of the World.”
The labyrinthine alleyways and carved wooden roofs of the Gold Souk have not changed much in the last century, aside from some modernisation. What has changed is its size and scope. Over the years, the souk has expanded from 400 square metres to a vast powerhouse of more than 2 kilometres wide and three kilometres in length, housing more than 900 merchants.
For nearly 100 years, Dubai has been the Middle East and global gold trade hub, capitalising on its geographical position by setting up gold vaults, jewellery-making facilities, and refineries.
On Tuesday, April 26th, the Dubai Gold Souk Extension (GSE) was formally opened, rejuvenating Dubai’s historic heart of commerce and reigniting its reputation as the City of Gold, delivering an elevated shopping and trading experience.
Of the 295 shops that have come up at the Extension, over 50 jewellery brands have already opened their outlets during the soft launch and for the grand opening, while more brands and speciality restaurants are in the process of setting up their shops.
Several international and home-grown jewellery brands, including Al Romaizan Gold & Jewellery, Malabar Gold & Diamond, Al Kanz Jewellery, Dhakan Jewellers, Jawhara, Gold House, Hyatt, New Mashoom, Top Gold, Zayan, Iman, Navran Jewellers, Ismail, Popley and Kalyan Jewellers have either opened or will soon open doors to visitors in the Extension area.
In addition, the Souk Extension will be home to about 150 wholesale offices based on the first floor of the buildings.
According to Lachlan Gyde, executive director for retail, residential and commercial at Ithra Dubai, there is no “key money” involved for retailers when they’re taking the shop on lease. “The benefit of one landlord is that we can control ‘key-money’ and tenancy mix. We will make a return from fair rentals, and retailers will make money through honest and fair trading. Key money is a thing of the past.”
The Souk Extension is certainly one of the must-visit new destinations that tourists should add to their itinerary when visiting Dubai.
Located in Dubai’s original trading hub, the Extension will be one of Dubai’s top cultural attractions and the world’s destination for jewellery, revitalising Dubai’s moniker: the City of Gold.”
Located just across the road from the old Gold Souk and part of the Deira Enrichment Project, the Dubai Gold Souk Extension maintains the charm and cultural characteristics of the original souk but offers a more urban experience with shaded walkways, superior facilities including workshops and co-working spaces, covered parking, restaurants, a nearby waterfront promenade, and a range of hotels; catering to residents, entrepreneurs, and tourists from around the world.
Tawhid Abdullah, chairman of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, believes that the Gold Souk Extension will not just increase footfall but visitors will spend more time exploring the two souks.
Dubai Gold Souk has been serving the nation for nearly 100 years, and Abdullah believes that the new Extension of the souk will further strengthen the Emirates’ position as a global hub for the precious metal trade for another 200 years.
The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group chairman stressed that the Extension would help attract more visitors and jewellery buyers from across the globe.
Here is what he has to say about improved first-quarter 2022 sales and the impact of Russian tourists on local gold jewellery sales.
Metro access, 8K+free parking
Since Gold Souk is located in a very congested area, finding parking has been a perennial problem for motorists. A new parking building was recently constructed, which eased the pressure quite a bit.
But this is not the case with the Gold Souk Extension, which offers plenty of parking for visitors.
Importantly, access for visitors and residents to the Dubai Gold Souk Extension has been pretty much easier as two Dubai Metro stations are closely located in the vicinity.
According to Lachlan Gyde, executive director for retail, residential and commercial at Ithra Dubai, over 8,000 free parking has allocated for visitors and residents of the area. “There is plenty of free parking for the visitors of the Gold Souk Extension now.”