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Sun 22 Apr 2007 01:14 PM

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Going for gold

Dubai launches its first gold coin as part of the 'Visions of Dubai' collectible coin series.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has launched Dubai's first souvenir gold coin in a series of valuable collectible coins representing the emirate. The first coin in the "Visions of Dubai" series will feature the image of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Burj Al Arab, Dubai's iconic landmark will be engraved on the other side of the coin.

According to the DMCC, the coin's name was selected to reflect the "visionary leadership of Dubai" and the "innovative projects" that the emirate has unveiled. Other coins in the series will feature images of Dubai reflecting the spirit and identity of the emirate. The first coins will be available in the market by September 2007.

The announcement was made on the first day of the "Dubai City of Gold" conference by Colin Griffith, executive director for gold and precious metals at the DMCC and chairman of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX).

Earlier today, the founding CEO of the DGCX, Framroze Pochara, resigned for "personal reasons" in order to go back to his native India, according to David Rutledge, CEO of the DMCC. He added that it would announce a replacement "shortly".

Griffith said that the series of souvenir coins representing Dubai would be produced in the emirate according to specifications set by the DMCC, and will be sold exclusively by DMCC-licensed agents.

Addressing the attending delegates during his presentation, Griffith said:

"Gold is increasingly seen as a sound investment tool and as a hedge against inflation. It is only appropriate then, that Dubai should launch its own official gold coin, which will be truly representative of its leading role in the economy of the region," he said. "Equally, considering the emirate's growing international prominence, we feel that this is an ideal opportunity to launch a series of well-designed and marketed gold coins to the millions of travelers who visit Dubai every year."

DMCC also announced that within the next few months it would appoint multiple licensed agents with exclusive rights to sell the coins.

The coin will be marketed through various channels, including banks, dealers, brokerage houses and coin dealers.

It will also be sold through retail outlets such as souvenir shops, airport boutiques, and jewellery stores within major shopping centres and markets, such as the Gold Souk.

Made of 22-carat gold and to be produced at a local gold refinery mandated by DMCC, the coins will be produced in four different units: 1oz (34 g), ½ oz (17 g), ¼ oz (8.5 g) and 1/10 oz (3.4 g). The coins will be priced competitively against the gold price, in keeping with global industry standards.

Ahmed bin Sulayem, COO of the DMCC, added: "We are extremely grateful to His Highness for his leadership of this unique initiative. Typically, it is gold-producing countries that produce and market gold coins to enhance their incomes from standard bar sales. Dubai's position in this regard is exceptional, as it is not a producer. It is well on its way to becoming a significant manufacturing and refining centre for the region. The launch of the Visions of Dubai coin is a truly signal event in the history of the emirate."

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