A stamp of credibility through Bareeq

Most jewellers in Dubai comply with quality standards. (EB FILE)

The Dubai Central Laboratory Department (DCLD), under the Dubai Municipality (DM) is intensifying a campaign among jewellery retailers in the city to promote the Bareeq certification scheme, an endorsement of the outlets' product purity and quality systems.

A special meeting of traders convened by the DM-DCLD, in association with the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and the World Gold Council, discussed the voluntary acceptance of the Bareeq (shining or brightness) certification scheme, which was introduced by the municipality about five years ago to improve quality standards in the jewellery trade.

Bareeq, or The Good Jewellery Trading Practice Certification, is an endorsement by the Dubai Municipality to a jewellery outlet that it complies with all quality requirements. Companies and shops having the Bareeq certification can display it on their premises and on advertisements. The voluntary certification is in addition to the DM-DCLD's inspections of the 700 odd jewellery outlets in Dubai to ensure that they maintain the highest quality standards and the gold ornaments sold through their outlets comply with purity and other standards. Out of the 700-odd jewellery retailers in Dubai, only 22 have so far got the Bareeq certification, which is a voluntary scheme for which jewellers pay Dh1,500 per year.

"Normally, we conduct at least three inspections per year in each jewellery retail shop and follow up customer complaints. When the inspection system was started 10 years ago, 96 to 97 per cent of jewellers complied with the rules and purity standards. Only three to four per cent of jewellers erred in one way or another. Now, 98 per cent of the jewellers strictly comply with the quality systems and there are no major cases of fraud in the market," said a DM-DCLD official, who did not wish to be named.

"Now the municipality's inspectors find only two per cent of Dubai jewellers to have committed any fraud, which is not intentional in many cases."

He said most issues regarding the purity of gold come from imported ornaments, which may not be of the same quality or purity as mentioned on the packaging. "A gold ornament claiming '999' purity may be less than that number and such cases occur because of problems in the countries the product has been sourced from," he said.

The same is true for gold carat numbers. Now, a vast majority of gold retailers comply with the quality standards and that is one reason for the huge gold business in Dubai. Obtaining a Bareeq certification will be an added assurance to the consumer about a retailer's credibility.

At the meeting convened by the DM-DCLD, members of the Board of Director of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and representative from the World Gold Council were present, along with several jewellery retailers.

Amin Ahmed Mohammed Amin, Head of the DCLD Inspection and Certification Section, made a presentation on the DM-DCLD activities on the inspection of jewellery shops and the Bareeq Certification Scheme for Good Jewellery Trading Practice.

Farah Ali Al Zarouni, Head of the DCLD Consumer Products Section, discussed the various testing activities being carried out by the DCLD for precious metals, gemstones and other jewellery items.

Before awarding the Bareeq certification, the inspectors check the retail establishments' compliance with local and federal rules and regulations, presence of appropriate tags and labels on the jewellery, and product quality assurance. They record their findings and continue to monitor the outlets and ensure that they comply with the quality rules.


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