Dubai is one of Asia's major trading centres for the gold trade. Magda Abu Fadil reports on its brilliant prospects and the criminal aspects of a largely unregulated business.
The fluctuations of the gold market may unnerve many investors. After sinking to a seven-year low at the beginning of the year, it has surprised many speculators with a display of rude health in the summer. Whatever its fortunes on the markets, however, gold remains the king of metal commodities in the Middle East, smugglers abound and regulation of its trade is a distant prospect.
Despite efforts in the Gulf Arab states to try to legislate specifications for gold and silver, officials admit that market manipulation, speculation and illegal trading require a gargantuan effort and an army of law-enforcement personnel to regulate trading.
A case in point is the involvement of the Memon brothers of India, suspected of involvement in the March bomb explosions in Bombay which killed …