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Indians buy homemade jewellery for less in Dubai

shop, jewellery Supplied/Titan Company Limited
Tanishq’s seventh store in the UAE just opened in the Silicon Central mall in Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • 5% import duties for jewellery waived following Cepa deal
  • 8.26% increase in India’s gem and jewellery exports since the Cepa
  • UAE ‘going from strength to strength’ as a jewellery destination

Indians are travelling to Dubai to purchase jewellery made in their home country as it costs less in the emirates.

Import duties, previously at 5 percent, were waived for jewellery exported from India to the UAE under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) signed between the two nations last year.

“The prices are better,” said Kuruvilla Markose, CEO of international business at Titan Company Limited, which operates Indian jewellery brand Tanishq.

“Dubai is the place where you can buy gold and diamond jewellery at the best value. Tourists from India buy here, as well as a lot of Indians who live in the US and UK and are stopping over in Dubai on their way back from India,” he said. 

Markose added he remains bullish on the UAE market thanks to significant revenue growth since Tanishq’s first store opened there in 2020.

The brand’s seventh store in the country opened this week in the Silicon Central mall in Dubai. Markose said it will continue to expand in the UAE and also open in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain in the next year.

“Compared to last year, we have more than doubled revenue in the UAE and next year we hope to double it again,” Markose said.

“Overall we see the market recovering and the UAE has done all the right things to get people back into stores. It really worked on controlling the pandemic and making it a safe place to step out.”

Markose said the UAE “has also done the right things economically”, including signing the Cepa agreement with India, which lowered the prices of Indian jewellery on sale in the emirates. 

“As a jewellery destination, the UAE is going to go from strength to strength,” he said.

According to India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the UAE-India Cepa has helped contribute to an 8.26 percent increase in India’s gem and jewellery exports over the past financial year.

In India, Tanishq has more than 400 stores across 240 cities and intends to add another 100 in the next year. Markose said it is also looking at opening outlets in the US, Australia and the UK as part of its global retail expansion plans to cross $1 billion in international revenues.

He added that although the UK has a much larger Indian diaspora presence, Australia and Canada are countries where the populations are growing rapidly. 

The India-UAE trade deal has been hailed as a new phase of strategic cooperation that is projected to boost non-oil deals between the two nations by 120 percent, from $45 billion to $100 billion in five years.

India’s non-oil exports to the UAE have already recorded double-digit growth since the agreement was signed last year.

New Delhi’s Ministry of Commerce reported that exports to the UAE, excluding petroleum products, grew to $5.92 billion in June-August 2022, from $5.17 billion during June-August 2021 – an increase of 14 percent.

In contrast, India’s global non-oil exports in the same period grew by just 3 percent.

As part of the pact, India – which imports around 800 tonnes of gold every year – has also agreed to a 1 percent concession on duty on gold imports from the UAE for up to 120 tonnes in the first year, rising to 200 tonnes in five years. 

With the concession, Dubai could compete with Zurich as the biggest yellow metal exporter to India, which currently accounts for half of India’s gold imports.