Middle East Focus

Gold has played a central role in the Middle East as means for payments and for wealth protections, since far more than one thousand years. It still plays an important role today, in form of gold bars, gold jewellery and gold coins, for high net-worth individuals as well as for average earners.

Until 1968, the majority of gold for the Middle East markets was provided by the London Gold Market. Until then, Beirut was the main hub for distribution in the region, but the London Gold Market also shipped gold directly to Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. After the crash of the London Gold Pool in Spring 1968, Zurich took over a part of London’s gold business.

The total gold demand of the Middle East, including Turkey, in 2018 was 255,3 mt (metric tonnes), an increase of 6% compared to 2017, as per the statistics of the World Gold Council. The largest gold demand within the region on a single market basis were:

  • Iran with 91,2 mt (+41%)
  • Turkey with 74,1 mt (-21%)
  • Saudi Arabia with 49,5 mt (-49,5%)
  • United Arab Emirates with 42,0 mt (-20%)
  • Egypt with 27,2 mt (+11%)
  • Kuwait with 17 mt (+3%)

Jeddah and Dubai are the largest gold trade hubs. While Jeddah serves the surrounding countries (mainly Egypt and other North-East African countries), Dubai mainly serves the markets of Pakistan and India, and African markets.

Two thirds of the total demand came from the jewellery markets, while one third of the total demand, 85,1 metric tons were for bars and coins.

There were substantial decreases of demand in gold jewellery in 2018 throughout the region, compared with 2017; the demand for gold jewellery only increased in Egypt and Kuwait.

However, the demand for gold bars and gold coins increased substantially, demonstrating the increasing interest in gold to protect value and wealth against various risks.

Development of the demand in gold bars and gold coins in 2018 (YoY):

  • Iran with 81,8 mt (+222%)
  • Turkey with 37,8 mt (-28%)
  • Saudi Arabia with 10,2 mt (+2%)
  • United Arab Emirates with 5,8 mt (+4%)
  • Kuwait 3 mt (+13%)
  • Egypt with 2,6 mt (+6%)

The rest of the Middle East countries showed an increased demand in gold bars and gold coins in 2018, being 3,8 mt, an increase of 8%.

The demand for gold is connected to the general income situation and wealth of people, as well as with various risks and threats that may have an impact on peoples’ kept values. The conflicts and uncertainties in the Middle East continue causing increased need to keep valuables and wealth in custody, in a safe form and a safe place.

Your custodian for precious metals

We noticed an increasing interest of both high net-worth individuals and the middle class in physical gold in form of bars to secure at least a part of their wealth. A rising number of those individuals prefer to store their physical gold in Europe, far from their own region.

Our entire services of sales and storage are fully Shariah compliant, as approved  by the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors. Please read the details about our Shariah Compliance and Shariah Supervisory Board.

We are proud being chosen by high net-worth individuals of the MENA region as their trustworthy custodian, in Liechtenstein.

You are welcome to contact us through the below contact form.

We do not offer investment advice:

This information is provided solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not, and should not be construed as, an offer to buy or sell, or as a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell.

Arabic coffee and dates

The Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean is truly our passion. The Managing Director of LIEMETA ME LTD, Stefan Nolte, has been living, working and doing business in the area since 1984. As the Vice President of the Cyprus Kuwait Business Association under the umbrella of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he is engaged in the furthering of business ties between the two countries.

LIEMETA is proud of its trust-based close relation with many distinguished clients from the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean.

Choosing Cyprus as its location is part of the concept of integration of LIEMETA ME LTD.

As a member state of the European Union, Cyprus politically belongs to Europe. Geographically though, Cyprus belongs to Asia. Having a look into the history of Cyprus since thousands of years, it is easy to understand that Cyprus has always played a vital role in the Middle East. At times, Cyprus belonged to ancient Egypt. Later, ancient Phoenicians moved to Cyprus and set up trade bases, especially on the Eastern coast of Cyprus. During the first millennium, Cyprus was under the reign of Arabs, which for 300 years shared their reign with the emperor of Byzantium.

On the other hand, many people from Cyprus formed communities in surrounding countries such as Egypt and Lebanon, for example. Those communities still exist today and play an important role in their countries.

Since millenniums, Cyprus has always been a bridge between the Middle East cultures and Europe.

And that is exactly what we at LIEMETA do: Providing a bridge between old and new friends and clients from the Middle East and Liechtenstein, where our high-security storage facilities for precious metals and art are located.

You are welcome to contact us through the below contact form.