How Does the Dubai Gold Market Function?

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Dubai is one of the seven Emirates and over the years has emerged as an important hub regionally for physical gold import, export, and redistribution, along with being popular as a trading center for gold.

The local gold market in Dubai comprises of gold refining, gold distributors & wholesalers, a large sector for gold retail, along with the emergence of gold brokering and trading operations. Most of the gold trading in Dubai is done over the counter, however, there are three contracts on the DGCX – Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is also known as the DMCC which is an authority of the Government of Dubai that was established back in the year 2002. It aims at developing and promoting the flow of physical trade through Dubai harnessing an extensive trade free zone. This zone is known as Jumeirah Lake Towers Free Zone that offers business incentives such as zero % corporate tax, a wide choice of office and commercial real estate, and supporting the infrastructure of trading and logistics to the member companies. 

The DMCC developed and still promotes various initiatives to support the growth of the gold investment of Dubai.

Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX)

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, popularly known as DGCX is an electronic platform that was developed in the year 2005 for commodity and financial derivatives. The DGCX was developed as a joint venture. DGCX is designated by the United Arab Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority as an organization that is self-regulated. It is an affiliate member of the IOSCO – International Organization of Securities Commissions.

There are two other securities exchanges located in Dubai namely NASDAQ Dubai and Dubai Mercantile Exchange. NASDAQ Dubai focuses on Islamic bonds and equities and was previously called the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). The Dubai Mercantile Exchange deals is an energy-focused commodity exchange. These 2 exchanges are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Trading on DGCX

There are a number of membership types offered by DGCX:

  • Broker Members – They can trade the DGCX contracts on a proprietary basis or on behalf of their clients.
  • Trader Members – They can trade all the DGCX contracts on a proprietary basis.
  • Clearing Members – This is a special category of the members who are authorized to clear trades.

In order to trade on this electronic platform, the individual can either be a member or trade through a broker member. The trading participants consist of banks, brokers, commodity trading advisors, and proprietary trading companies.

Clearing on DGCX  via DCCC

The trade clearing takes place via the DCCC – Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation. The DCCC is a fully owned subsidiary of the DGCX. It is the central counterparty for all of the trades taking place on the DGCX platform.

The clearing members of the DCCC are also members of a platform called TradeFlow DMCC. This is a warehouse receipt system utilizing electronic warrants. It acts as a central registry of ownership of Dubai commodities.

In a Nutshell

Over the span of the last 15 years, Dubai has emerged as a major player in the global gold trade and the gold refining sector. Dubai acts as a regional gold distribution hub. The City of Gold also links into surrounding gold hubs like the Istanbul and Indian markets.

There have been some setbacks and some persistent image problems when it comes to Dubai’s negligence in complying with internationally set standards of gold sourcing, the constant growth of the gold trading on DGCX and the love for gold will make sure that Dubai and UAE remain at the heart of the global gold trade.

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