MANAMA: The Manama Gold Festival has been a huge success with traders recording sales of more than BD1million.

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (Btea), which organised the event, said BD1.1m came from transactions of gold, pearls and jewellery businesses taking part in the festival.

Citizens, residents, visitors, and tourists have purchased jewellery, gold bars and precious stones from more than 180 gold merchants, the BTEA said in a statement last night.

The festival, being held for the first time, will continue until Wednesday.

BTEA chief executive Dr Nasser Qaedi expressed pride in the outstanding achievement.

“We are proud of our success in achieving the festival’s objectives, including attracting more visitors and tourists to the Manama Suq, stimulating the commercial movement of gold shops in particular, and various commercial activities in the suq in general,” he said.

“Promoting this suq as one of Bahrain’s most important tourists attractions, and reflecting its ancient heritage and cultural diversity is one of the priorities of BTEA.”

The authority is hoping to witness an increased turnout in the coming days as more customers rush to take advantage of the festival’s unique offers and bargains.

Al Tawash Khalil Ibrahim Ghareeb, owner of the Tababa Bahrain Jewellery store, revealed a 75 per cent to 80pc rise in demand for gold compared with the same period last year.

Rasha Jewellery director Sayed Hussein Majed said the festival had contributed to the growth of sales in participating stores as well as the overall commercial activity in the Manama Suq.

The event also features weekly raffles, as well as live Bahraini music, fashion shows, documentaries on the gold industry and trade in Bahrain and activities for children. It is open from 10am to 10pm.

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