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Dubai gold trade reached $75 billion in 2013

A hefty $75 billion worth of gold, or about 40% of the world’s physical bullion exchange, was traded through Dubai last year, according to Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

The figure, unveiled over the weekend at the Dubai Precious Metals Conference 2014, represents a huge jump from the $6 billion worth of the precious metal traded in 2003, in the DMCC’s first year of operations, Emirates 24/7 reports.

The exchange also saw an annual trade volume increase of 73%, accounting for 2,250 tonnes of gold, according to Bin Sulayem.

He added the market has proven to be resilient under all conditions. “Even on a year where total global demand fell by 15% per cent, Dubai gained from near-record consumption demand growth,” he said, adding that the figures “represent a significant shift in the balance of global demand flows.”

Experts say the growth in gold traded through Dubai can be attributed to a number of reasons including the transparency of trade, location and rising number of tourists.

In a speech at the conference, US-based analyst and portfolio manager for Tocqueville Asset Management, John Hathaway, said the emirate had become one of the world’s major gold trading centres in the past decade and believes gold trade volumes should continue to grow.

“The Dubai story is part of the wider migration of physical gold away from financial centres. Dubai is a distribution point to all parts of Asia and that level of flow is dependent on the prosperity of the emerging middle classes in various Asian economies. So, as long as that continues I can’t see anything stopping that flow,” Hathaway was quoted as saying by CPI Financial.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) plans to introduce a spot gold contract this June as part of its growth as a top trading centre for the precious metal, the exchange’s chief executive Gary Anderson said on Sunday.

The DGCX is said to be in the final stages of finalizing contract specifications, a spokesman quoted Anderson as saying at an industry conference.