By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter
Demand for gold in Qatar is expected to increase over the next month as many Indians prepare to celebrate Diwali, or the festival of lights, a top official of a leading jewellery chain has told Gulf Times.
Regarded as the “biggest and brightest festival in India,” Diwali usually falls between mid-October and mid-November. It is also believed to be an auspicious time to buy gold.
This year, Diwali will be
celebrated in November.
Santhosh TV, regional head of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, said the festival will evoke “a good response from the public, especially among sections of Indians”.
He noted that the jewellery chain is preparing to launch “a big offer” for Diwali in November, the details of which “will be announced soon”.
Asked if prices for the yellow metal have recovered since they fell to a record low of QR125 for 22-carat gold in July, Santhosh said trading yesterday was at $1,117 per ounce in the global market, while a gram of 22-carat gold was traded at QR128.50 in Qatar.
“When gold prices fall, people will start buying either for investment purposes or for personal use. Otherwise, customers keep a close watch on the price fluctuations before deciding to buy or sell,” he explained.
Santhosh said the gold business in Qatar last month was influenced by customer preference as many were focused on preparing for tuition fee payments and other back-to-school expenses.
“Many customers have also started arriving back from vacation and the attention of most people in September is centred on spending for their children’s education. But, as the Diwali festival approaches, there will be some changes,” he said.
He explained that gold jewellery sales in Qatar were at their peak in June and July during the Ramadan and Eid seasons. Compared to last year’s sales, Malabar Gold & Diamonds recorded a 45-50% increase in sales during this period, he
“It is also during this time that many people take their annual leave. For most Indians, it is a good time to buy gold because of the Ramadan-related promotions. The gold they buy will be used as investments or as gifts for family or relatives,” he explained.
Since opening its sixth store in Qatar at LuLu Hypermarket along D-Ring Road, Santhosh said the latest branch gained an extra 25% in terms of footfall.
“We are expecting footfall to increase in the coming months, especially when Malabar launches its upcoming promo for Diwali,” he said.
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