Monday, February 9, 2009

Shopping at the Gold Souk

Shopping for gold can be pretty depressing... because gold is EXPENSIVE! For my mom's birthday, I wanted to get something uniquely Abu Dhabian, so I went to Madinat Zayed Gold Center to have a look around. This place is huge- over a hundred shops selling yellow and white gold, diamonds and other precious/semi-precious stones. One thing that struck me was the lack of security- unlike Pakistan, (where crime is at an all-time high) there were no Kalashnikov-wielding guards at the entrance and the doors stood wide open.

Most of the stores are owned by Arabs, Indians and Pakistanis- the big ones (like Damas) have a representative from each region to communicate with the clientele in their native language. For some reason, everyone thinks I'm Indian- even the Pakistanis :P

Damas discriminates based on your "status". The Les Exclusives Boutiques cater to the ultra-rich (Sheikhs, celebrities, business men types) while the outlet stores and union-coops cater to the middle-class. They should have a franchise for poor students/researchers/fresh graduates like me.

Arab jewelry designs are loud and flashy- usually crafted in 24k (the purest form of gold) or 22k (the almost-pure form). They don't mess with paltry 14k. I found a pendant with a picture of the ruler on it :); truly Emirati patriotism knows no bounds. Imagine wearing a pendant on your wedding with Zardari's face on it... (shiver!)


  1. LOL @ Imagine wearing a pendant on your wedding with Zardari's face on it... (shiver!)
    Btw, I like your blog and am adding it to my blogroll :)

  2. tho when u first said ruler i thought you meant a foot-rule :D

  3. lol... i can't use his name... i might end up behind bars!

  4. is he some sort of 'anti-christ' character hiding in the middle east nobody els knows off =/