Gold jewellery sales in the UAE grew at the fastest pace in the Gulf region on the back of improved sentiment and buying for festival and wedding season.

Demand for yellow jewellery across the country surged by 80% in the second quarter to 13.2 tonnes, the highest among countries tracked in the GCC region, according to the latest data from the World Gold Council (WGC).

In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, demand also increased by 22% and 24%, respectively. Overall, demand for gold jewellery in the Middle East went up by 24% to 47.3 tonnes.

According to WGC, rising oil prices have boosted sentiment among gold consumers in the Middle East. The second quarter also saw "healthy" buying for wedding and festival among Indian consumers, which make up a huge proportion of expat population in the UAE.

Global jewellery consumption, however, was up marginally by 4% at 453 tonnes due to declines in China and Russia.

Global demand remains "anaemic" on a longer-term basis, 10% below the five-year quarterly average of 505 tonnes, according to WGC.

For the first half of the year, total demand stood at 928 tonnes, down by 2% compared to the first half of 2021. Demand during the first half of the year was also 12% below 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)