Buying gold from Dubai to avoid import duty? Think again (2023)

Buying gold from Dubai to avoid import duty? Think again (1)

Representative image

Have you always believed that gold is cheaper in Dubai? Well, if you were to go merely by the sticker price of the yellow metal, you might be right. But there’s a lot more to it. Enough to make you think twice about buying gold in the emirate and bringing it back to India.

On September 19, when Dubai markets were selling 1 gram of 22K gold at AED 196.50 or Rs 4,252 — Indian markets were quoting a price of Rs 4,656 per gram (Mumbai). This difference is largely because of the import duty hike by the Indian government, to 15 percent (excluding 3% cess), in July 2022 from 10.75 per cent earlier. India’s fetish for gold is costing the Indian Government dearly — the rupee has slid due to imports going through the roof, surging 790% in May to $6 billion vis-à-vis $670 million a year ago. This forced the government to hike the import duty.

This festive season, jewellers in India have tough competition from Dubai, where import duty is not levied. The import duty results in a significant cost advantage for buyers in Dubai, at least on the face of it.

But if this tempts you to pick up gold from Dubai on your next holiday there, it won’t really work.

(Video) Buying gold from Dubai to avoid import duty? Think again 🤔

That’s because there are duty charges to be paid if you bring gold from Dubai into India. Moreover, making charges are higher in Dubai.

Related stories

  • How to make intelligent use of your credit card reward points?
  • Axis Bank acquires Citibank’s consumer businesses in India| What's in it for Citibank customers?

With festivals such as Dusshera, Dhanteras and Diwali coming up — they are considered to be auspicious for gold buying — gold fever is raging again. Nothing spells festive cheer for Indians as much as gold does, especially when the prices have mellowed to a level not seen in the past 30 months.
However, in the wake of the import duty hike, non-resident Indians in Dubai are receiving requests from many relatives back home to pick up gold jewellery on their way home this Diwali. “My cousin is getting married in November and has already sent us a list of items to be purchased before our October-end visit,” says 38-year-old Akil Kurian, who works for a risk-management firm in Dubai.

Also read | Inflation pressure sends gold prices down. Should you dump your gold now?

The multiple stores lining the Meena Bazaar, Gold Souk and Baniya Street in Dubai are flush with Indian clientele. Indian jewellery brands such as Malabar Gold, Joyallukas, Kalyan Jewellers, Popley, Tanishq and Atlas Jewellers also have a presence in Dubai.

“Sales to Indian passport holders have increased 30% over last quarter. Most are looking at necklace and pendant sets in 18K and we have demand for 22K jewellery also,” said a salesperson from Damas, which runs three large-format jewellery stores within Dubai’s Meena Bazaar, one of the city’s oldest and most traditional shopping areas.

Syncing with realityOne more reason Dubai’s gold is more alluring is due to its more accurate pricing.

(Video) Avoid These Guys When BUYING GOLD in Dubai (Fake 👑 Scam)

Also read | Buy all the gold jewellery you want. Just remember, getting cash when you want to sell it, will be tough

In India, gold prices change at the start of the day based on the (previous day’s) closing price on the London Metal Exchange and again in the evening at around 4 pm based on the index opening. However, in Dubai, the ticker price changes based on the same day’s market movement.

“In Dubai, gold sellers charge the price that gets displayed on the ticker based on the time stamped on the receipt. Any discrepancy in pricing based on the day and the date is taken up seriously by the authorities,” said Malvika Malik, a real-estate consultant, in a telephonic interaction from Dubai. Malik moved to Dubai few years ago. She exchanged all of her wedding jewellery for fresh designs in Dubai.

Why Indian gold still makes senseTraditionally, the popular opinion was that gold in Dubai is cheaper and its purity is higher.

But the mandatory hallmarking regulations in India, which address purity concerns, have brought about more confidence in gold sold in India.

“Hallmarking is mandatory in 282 districts in India. On a net basis we see a 15% import duty and 3% GST as a total price differential of 18.45%. But the actual difference is much lower as the stores in Dubai have higher operational costs,” says Ashish Pethe, Chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council.

Also read | Did you know that you could get insurance for your gold purchases?

(Video) Buy Gold From Dubai ?🇦🇪 #finance

While India has its BIS certification, Dubai has a Bareeq Award as assurance of product quality.

Hefty labour costs:Necklaces are imported from India and hence the making charges applicable in India are low, but the pieces sent to Dubai attract a higher making charge.

“The making charges in India would be about 7 percent of the overall cost of jewellery. But in Dubai, identical designs will vary in pricing when they are sourced from global pockets such as Istanbul (Turkey), Malaysia or Italy. The making charges differ based on the country a piece is imported from — 25 percent for Malaysia, 20 percent for Istanbul and higher for Italy,” says Rajiv Popley, director of the Popley Group of Jewellers, which runs a store in Dubai.

Buying gold from Dubai to avoid import duty? Think again (5) The making charges in India would be about 7% of the overall jewellery cost. But in Dubai, these charges can go up to 25%

Malik, who has negotiated with Dubai jewellers around making charges, said that there are deals on offer sometimes and you can get jewellery with no making charges if you are lucky. “The jewellery under 18K has the best designs as it has more alloy, but the making charges are hefty, in the range of 15-25%,” she says.

Taxes:While the 5 percent value added tax in Dubai is refunded to tourists upon passport declaration, Indian consumers cannot escape a 3 percent goods and services tax (GST) on the value of gold and 5 percent GST on making charges.

For those travelling to Dubai as tourists and picking up gold jewellery during the trip, currency conversion charges will also be applicable. Rupee conversion to Dirhams would cost 2.8-3.5 percent, based on the mode of forex payment.

(Video) Why You Shouldn't Buy Physical Gold And Silver

So, are you actually saving?Due to all the additional expenses, such as higher making charges and the currency conversion fee, there will barely be any cost saving in purchasing gold, even though you see a net difference of Rs 6,000-7,000 per 10 grams in the price of the yellow metal.

“There is no net saving, honestly, as the cost of labour is very low in India,” says Popley of the Popley group.

Additionally, the entire range of jewellery available in India isn’t offered in stores in other countries. “The local flavours in traditional jewellery, such as the Kolhapur collection, aren’t available in other markets,” says Pethe.

Quantity restrictions

Indian customs norms also place restrictions on Indian passengers carrying gold back into the country.

Returning male passengers can bring up to 20 grams of gold jewellery, not exceeding Rs 50,000, while female passengers are allowed to bring home double the amount. So, a couple can carry a total of 60 grams of gold jewellery, not exceeding Rs 1.5 lakh in value, back home. Popley says these limits are negligible and doesn’t get you good stock.

But here’s the dampener: You need to have resided in Dubai for at least a year if you want to bring purchased jewellery into India. Additionally, you are also allowed to carry gold up to 1 kg in your bags after the one year period. Be sure to carry valid documents, receipts and bills. Else, you will be stopped at the airport and penalised.

(Video) 14 Years of Buying Gold and Silver - Here's What I've Learned

This also means that if you visit Dubai on a holiday (for a few days or even months), you cannot buy jewellery and come back. If caught, you might be required to pay the customs duty of 36.05 percent, an import duty of 15 percent, and also face penal action. Your jewellery, too, could be confiscated if you fail to provide valid supporting documents about your gold’s weight, purity and source.

Also, only gold jewellery is permitted to be brought into India. Gold studded with gems, diamonds and pearls is not allowed.


Can I buy gold from Dubai Duty Free? ›


Gold jewellery with an aggregate weight of upto 40 grams and a maximum monetary value of INR 100,000 for female passengers is exempted from customs duty.

How much is customs duty on gold from Dubai? ›

In other cases, a passenger bringing gold to India will have to pay 38.5% of customs duty on the gold.As per the rules, the weight of the gold (including ornaments) should also not exceed 1 kg per person.

Can I bring gold from Dubai to USA? ›

There is no duty on gold coins, medals or bullion but these items must be declared to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer. Please note a FINCEN 105 form must be completed at the time of entry for monetary instruments over $10,000. This includes currency, ie.

Can you bring gold back from Dubai? ›

There is no duty on gold coins, medals or bullion but these items must be declared to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer. Please note a FINCEN 105 form must be completed at the time of entry for monetary instruments over $10,000. This includes currency, ie.

How much gold can I carry from Dubai duty free? ›

Duty Free Limit on Gold Imported to Indian from Dubai

As per the rule, a man travelling from Dubai to India can carry a maximum of 20 gms of gold with him. Meanwhile, a woman who is travelling from Dubai can carry a maximum of 40 gms of gold with her.

Can I buy gold from Dubai as a tourist? ›

This also means that if you visit Dubai on a holiday (for a few days or even months), you cannot buy jewellery and come back. If caught, you might be required to pay the customs duty of 36.05 percent, an import duty of 15 percent, and also face penal action.

Why is gold so cheap in Dubai? ›

Dubai has always been favoured for its exemption from taxes. It is one of the main reasons why people choose to move to the city, as well as buy gold. Due to the exclusion of taxes in the emirate, prices for gold in Dubai have always been cheaper as buyers would only pay for the value of the gold jewellery.

Do you pay import duty on gold? ›

If you choose to carry more than 1kg of gold bullion, you will have to pay additional duty charges on the amount of gold in excess of the 1kg limit. In this instance, you will also have to pay the 12.5% import tax. Of course, India is a very large country.

How is gold import duty calculated? ›

The total custom duties on gold bar and gold doré now stand at 15% and 14.35% respectively. With an additional 3% Goods and Services Tax (GST), consumers will now pay 18.45% in tax for refined gold (Table 1).

Can I carry gold with me international flight? ›

Yes, they're personal items. If you plan to carry something valuable, anything valuable, whatever you do, do not put it in checked luggage. As this is jewellery, and something you can wear, then wearing it while travelling would be the safest way to transport it, and maybe wear clothing that hides it.

How much is US customs duty on jewelry? ›

Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country. Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).

How many grams of gold I can bring to us? ›

You are allowed to take gold into USA, but what about customs duty? There is no customs duty on Gold. But you are expected to declare that you are carrying Gold when you enter USA if the value of gold Is beyond $10,000. That is about 200 gms of gold.

How much gold jewelry can you bring to USA? ›

How much gold can you bring to USA? There is no limit. You have to declare it is in the form of coins and the value of your cash and monetary instruments is over $10,000 (see FinCEN 105). If you're importing gold bullion, you just need to declare it, IIRC.

How much gold jewellery can I carry in international flight? ›

In the case of a female passenger, the weight is up to 40 Grams of gold, subject to a maximum value of Rs 100,000. But if it's a male and female who have stayed abroad for less than a year, then there will be no free allowance to bring back any type of gold in India.

How much is 1 Tola 22k gold in Dubai today? ›

Today's Live Gold Rate in Dubai - 22 Carat Gold Price is 2103 AED.

How much gold can I carry in flight? ›

Ans. An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage upto 20 grams with a value cap of Rs. 50,000/- (in case of a gentleman passenger) or up to 40 grams with a value cap of Rs. 1,00,000/- (in the case of a lady passenger).

What is the price of 1 gram gold in Dubai? ›

GOLD UNIT 1 Gold Gram Carat 22GOLD PRICES AED 210.25
GOLD UNIT 1 Gold Gram Carat 21GOLD PRICES AED 200.75
GOLD UNIT 1 Gold Gram Carat 18GOLD PRICES AED 172.0
4 more rows

How do I declare gold at the airport? ›

Passenger should bring with him four copies of a detailed packaging list incorporating the item wise details of each item of jewellery mentioning the particulars necessary for the identification of the items at the time of re-import, such as S.No., description of the item, B.I.S.

Is it profitable to import gold from Dubai? ›

The price of gold is generally lower in Dubai compared to India. But importing large amounts of jewellery from Dubai may not be very profitable because of cost multipliers like making charges, import duty, currency conversion costs, tax rules and GST, according to experts.

What is the cost of 10 gram gold in Dubai? ›

The Gold rate in Dubai per 10 grams is AED 2230.

Where is cheapest gold rate in world? ›

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the country with the cheapest gold in the world. Banks are plentiful here with competitive premiums on gold coins – making investing easy to do without breaking the bank.

Why is Dubai gold so yellow? ›

However, the copper content in the alloy determines how yellow the metal appears. The concentration of these other metals in the alloy also plays a role in deciding the gold rate in Dubai.

Which country gold is best quality? ›

Hong Kong, China

It also amongst the most active markets for gold trading across the globe and is a rate setter for many places. Considering this dominant position of Hong Kong, purchasing gold jewelry in high quality from there could a good deal. The goldsmiths there are popular for their creative designs.

What is the best price of gold in Dubai? ›

TODAY'S Suggested Retail Gold Jewellery Price – 14/12/21* All prices are per gm
Gold PurityRate in AED per gm
24KAED 216.2
22KAED 203.25
21KAED 194.00
18KAED 166.25
Feb 15, 2023

Do I have to declare gold purchase? ›

Tax liabilities on the sale of precious metals are not due the instant that the sale is made. Instead, sales of physical gold or silver need to be reported on Schedule D of Form 1040 on your tax return.

Does the government know if I buy gold? ›

Do I have to report my gold coin purchases to the Government ? No, there is no branch of federal, state, or local government that is interested in how much gold you might own.

Can I avoid import duty? ›

The true answer is that there is no way to avoid customs duties for any imported product from a foreign country.

What is import duty on gold 2023? ›

The actual gold customs duty will be 15 per cent after adding the agriculture infrastructure development cess (AIDC) of 2.5 percent.

What are the extra charges when buying gold? ›

What are the making charges for gold jewellery in India? In India, the making charges for gold jewellery typically range between 3% to 25%.

What is the news of gold import duty? ›

Officials attributed the tepid response under CEPA to a spike in gold import duty on 30 June 2022, which they say may be resulting in gold coming in from informal channels. The Centre hiked the basic customs duty on gold to 12.5% in July.

How much is 22k gold in Dubai Duty Free? ›

A. Today 22 carat gold rate in Dubai is AED 2103 (per 10 grams).

How much is 10 gram gold in Dubai Duty Free? ›

Historic Retail Gold Rate in Dubai - 1 Gram (AED)

This represents a decrease of 7 AED per gram, or 3.02 %. The price of 10g of 24k gold in Dubai on Sunday 5th, March 2023 was 2250 AED. 30 days prior to this, 10 grams of 24k gold would have cost 2320 AED.

What is price of gold at Dubai Airport? ›

Today's Gold Rate
24 KT(999) -USD 59.88/g
22 KT(916) -USD 55.45/g
18 KT(750) -USD 46.05/g

How much is the cheapest gold in Dubai? ›

  • 24K - AED 224.25.
  • 22K - AED 207.50.
  • 21K - AED 201.00.
  • 18K - AED 172.25.
Feb 15, 2023

Is Dubai Duty Free cheaper? ›

It depends. Some things will be cheaper in duty-free but it depends what you're comparing it to. You won't always get a bargain, so don't buy on impulse without doing your homework. You can pre-order online from Dubai Duty Free up to 30 days before you fly, so check out prices in advance.

What should I pay for gold in Dubai? ›

Currently, the gold rate today in Dubai is AED 2218 per 10 grams.

How much is 1 Tola gold in Dubai? ›

It's a measure of gold. 1 tola = 10 grams. Today 1 tola gold price in UAE is 2239 AED.

Does Dubai has tax on gold? ›

The rate of VAT applicable to the purchase of gold and its products is 5% in Dubai that is the lowest in the world.

What duty-free can I bring back from Dubai? ›

Duty free allowances

4 litres of alcohol or one carton / 24 cans of beer. AED 2,000 worth of cigarettes or 400 sticks of cigarettes. AED 3,000 worth of gifts, including perfume. AED 3,000 worth of cigars.

What is worth buying in Dubai? ›

Here is a list of the 19 Best Things to Buy in Dubai:
  • Gold and Diamond Jewellery.
  • Oudh and Bakhoor.
  • Pashmina Shawls.
  • Persian Rugs and Carpets.
  • Arabian Coffee and Coffee pots.
  • Arabic Attars.
  • Electronic Items.
  • Camel Milk Chocolate.

How much is iPhone 13 in Dubai? ›

The iPhone 13 is available in Dubai, UAE starting from AED 2799 for the iPhone 13 128GB, AED 3349 for the iPhone 13 256GB and AED 3449 for the iPhone 13 512GB.

How much is 24K gold per gram in UAE? ›

224.500 AED

How much is 24K gold per gram in Dubai? ›

Market 24 Carat Gold rate today in Dubai is AED 224.25 per Gram.


1. Buying Gold Jewellery from Dubai #gold #dubai #finance #education
(Tejas Joshi Finance)
2. NRI - Duty Free Baggage -Customs Duty Malayalam CA Subin VR
(My CA)
3. Explaining Custom Duty in India | How much you need to pay to clear custom?
4. Muslim women can NOT shave this body part! #shorts
5. Travelling With Gold and Silver - Expert Tips On Travelling Gold
(Strategic Wealth Preservation - SWP)
6. Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Gold | Start Saving and Investing | Tips and Tricks
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 04/17/2023

Views: 6027

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.