A chain of jewellery outlets is being set up in the UAE by a group of Indian businessmen who plan to expand into other GCC countries.
The partners are investing Dh300 million despite the uncertainty in the market caused by frequent fluctuations in the price of gold.
MP Ahmed, Chairman of Indian company Malabar Gold, told Emirates Business that a new company – Malabar Investments – had been launched by Indian shareholders living in the UAE and planned to open 18 branches in the Gulf within 18 months. The first showroom is due to set to open in Sharjah on June 19 and the stores will offer a range of designs ranging from the traditional to the modern.
"Branches are under construction or at the planning stage in Bur Dubai, Ajman, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi," said Ahmed. "The company is planning to open outlets in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the near future. Malabar Investments will rope in non-resident Indian (NRI) investors from the region who will own all the branches.
"The group is also planning to set up a major gem and jewellery park in India that will employ 5,000 people. They will make ornaments and cut diamonds, and there will be a training centre. The gold jewellery business has been going through a tough time due to the rising cost of the metal, which will remain high for at least the next three years.
"Malabar Investments will open showrooms across the UAE, the GCC and the rest of the world in locations where NRIs are concentrated. NRI investors will continue to buy gold as they regard it and diamonds as appreciating assets.
"We started our operations in the UAE with the launch of a wholesale jewellery business at the Gold Centre in September 2007."
KK Ashraf, director of Malabar Investments, said: "Our wholesale division in Dubai has made its presence felt across the region in a short span of time by sourcing gold from around the world.