Akshaya Tritiya: Covid in India, travel suspension deter expats from buying gold

Considered to be an auspicious time for buying gold, the festival is celebrated primarily by Indian Hindus and Jains.

Shamlal Ahamed, managing director of international operations at Malabar Gold, told Khaleej Times: “Even though the cases in the UAE are well under control and the vaccination rates are extremely high, the situation in India has really impacted our consumer sentiments.” Ahamed said the overall footfalls in gold retail outlets owned by Malabar Gold is much lesser compared to previous years.

Ahamed hopes sales and footfalls in the retail outlets would pick up in the months of June-August which are an important time for weddings for Indian expatriates.

However, the World Gold Council, under the leadership of Shivram Kumar, decided to launch a campaign to promote and educate the audiences about the relevance and religious significance of buying gold on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya,” explained Alukkas.

He added: “Since we had a presence in the Gulf region even then, a similar campaign, spearheaded by the World Gold Council was also launched here.

“Last year, it was a complete lockdown in the UAE and we re-opened just in time for Akshaya Tritiya.

However, this year, expatriates are investing in jewellery and the footfalls are only slightly better than previous years, but not up to the crowds which stores were seeing in 2019.

Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director of Kalyan Jewellers, provided a more optimistic perspective since 100 per cent of all the retailer’s stores in the Middle East are operational.

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