(MENAFN Press) Sharjah, UAE, October 2, 2012:
The forthcoming festival season in the UAE is set to end the lull in gold and diamond sales, with traders expecting a double-digit rise in the off take due to the seasonal spurt in demand for jewellery.
Traders are also watching the buying trends at the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, the 33rd edition of which got under way at Expo Centre Sharjah on October 2, 2012 (Tuesday), which is seen as the sales barometer of the industry in the last quarter of the year and can set the tone for the first quarter of the New Year.
The five-day show was opened by H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sea Ports and Customs, in the presence of Mr. Mohammed Sultan Bin Houwaden, First Vice-Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa “ Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah, Diplomats, officials of various government departments, and Members of trade associations.
The bi-annual exhibition is held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and is the most popular watch and jewellery event in the region.
"The festival season is round the corner and there are great expectations from both the exhibitors and visitors. I believe the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show will once again be able to live up to its reputation of being the finest jewellery show in the autumn that heralds the festival season starting with Eid Al Adha, which is followed by the Indian festival of Diwali as well as Christmas, New Year and the Chinese New Year," said Mr. Bin Houwaden.
"The increase in the appeal of gold and diamonds is fully reflected in the growth of the show too, which can successfully lay claim to being the only jewellery fair of its kind that is held twice a year.. this being the second one to be held this year," he added.
In the past two months, the price of gold is up by more than 10 per cent, from around US1,550 per troy ounce in the middle of July to US1,770 by mid-September this year, with a section of analysts predicting that the yellow metal will breach the US2,000-mark by the first half of next year and US2,500 in three years as investors buy the metal as a hedge against inflation.
Gold has risen for 11 straight years, reaching a record US 1,923.70 an ounce on September 6, 2011.
"Gold has brought phenomenal value to jewellery lovers. With the gold prices likely to climb further, this will be the right occasion to acquire the latest designs for the autumn season and the New Year," said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa.
The rising demand for gold and diamond jewellery and watches is the prime driver of the Middle East luxury market, which is set to grow by 15 per cent in 2012, according to a market study. In the UAE, the total luxury market is expected to grow more than nine per cent to Dhs 7 billion, while it ranks among the top 10 countries importing Swiss watches, with the Emirates being the only Middle Eastern country to be featured in the top 10 ranking.
"Exhibitors see the MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show as the right platform that can reflect the true sales trends that will emerge in the festival season. Visitors can expect exciting new ranges of jewellery creations that will be the trendsetters in the festival season... they can also expect good deals and customization offers from world's leading jewellery chains," added Mr. Al Midfa.
Many of the exhibitors, while speaking ahead of the opening of the show, said they expected a rise in sales of between 10 and 15 per cent during the show, mainly due to the popularity of the show, its reputation in the regional industry and the marketing and promotional efforts of its organizer Expo Centre Sharjah.
This year more than 450 jewellers are taking part in the show at 20,000 sq.m. of exhibition space, including the national pavilions of Hong Kong - China, India, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Leading jewellers and brands from Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Lebanon, Qatar, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the US and the UAE are displaying their collections of diamond and gold jewellery, pearls, silver jewellery, gems, precious stones, loose pearls, pearl sets, crystals and watches.
The organisers have also lined up fabulous prizes and gifts to attract more visitors. On every purchase of Dhs. 500, shoppers will have a chance to qualify for a daily raffle draw to win exciting prizes.
The show is open to general visitors on October 2 and 4 from 11am to 10pm and on October 3, 5 and 6 from 4pm to 10pm. Exclusive timings for ladies are on October 3 and 6, from 11am to 4pm.