Postcard from Dubai

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After 18 Months on the Ground, How Has Our Move to Dubai Worked Out?

Alison MacdonaldBullion.Directory precious metals news 12 September, 2023
By Alison Macdonald
Commercial Editor at Bullion.Directory

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. Or apparently if you’re baking under a ridiculously hot desert sun in the middle of summer, with marginally effective air conditioning.

Fact finding trip to Saudi, August 2023

Fact finding trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

It’s hard to believe we’ve been based in Dubai for 18 months already, it seems like just yesterday Mac and I stepped out of the doors at DXB to a bewilderingly humid heat and the noise, smells and full-on insanity that only Dubai airport’s underground taxi rank can offer.

That 3am culture shock has long-since faded and I for one am getting used to life in one of the most amazing and contradictory cities in the world – a life that has changed out of all recognition compared to what had gone before.

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But it’s not all been desert safaris, learning to pilot a motor yacht and trips to Dubai Mall.

No we’ve been incredibly busy working on Bullion.Directory and the other gold-related websites we operate, or exploring new markets in the Gulf, so for a quick catch-up I’m sitting down, digital pen in hand as the morning call to prayer echoes loudly across Deira.

How are our secret plans for world domination getting on?

 

Bullion.Directory

On the outside very little has happened to Bullion.Directory since we arrived. The switch to our expensively acquired domain BullionDirectory.com never actually happened as we decided to keep the strange URL we originally started with – doubling down on Mac’s initial belief it was the right thing to do. That’s not to say never. But certainly for now.

A slow updating of the site layout has now begun a roll-out, starting with a wider overall site and better readability – and we will soon be introducing a much simpler navigation and an AI-powered search function.

It’d hard to believe we now have over 1600 listings, each one manually added by either Mac or me – and with this huge number of pages we’ve been seeing the old ways of searching the site or finding what visitors need have been getting increasingly hard using the existing site operating system.

So a new slimmed-down, faster navigation and search function will be being released shortly using our in-house AI that’s already powering sister sites.

But being such a behemoth, Bullion.Directory has always been a beast to wrangle technologically, and these things take time…

Soon, I’m told. Soon.

 

Bullion Concierge

bullionconcierge-screengrabI’m very pleased that we’ve now taken our popular dealer-finder service for scale buyers outside of Bullion.Directory, with it’s new home being at BullionConcierge.com.

We have an incredible team of specialists on board, with Mac and Alice both taking the role of senior concierge as we welcome our first new members since the update into the program.

Initially we are focused on the US market which remains or biggest overall customer base, but due to Dubai’s popularity with HNW individuals we’ll be launching in the UAE early 2024.

The AI used in the free AutoConcierge element is again our in-house developed system and as for the premium Expert Concierge service? Alice, Mac, Penny, Elena and Alexis are at your service!

If you’re in the U.S and are spending $100k or more in precious metals, why not give our excellent (and free) dealer finder service a go?

 

BuyGold.ae

Late 2023 is seeing the relaunch of our UAE-facing service BuyGold.ae – a gold directory much like Bullion.Directory, looking at ever-popular local market investment-grade jewelry alongside more traditional bullion bars and coins.

Its a 1-stop shop offering market insights, how-to-guides and of course hundreds of Dubai and UAE gold dealers, coupled with consumer ratings and reviews – and what will be a first for us – in-house personal shoppers on the ground in 2024, to help expats and travelers get the best out of the region’s thriving (but chaotic) gold markets.

Looking later into 2024 BuyGold.ae will see additional functionality added, giving the site a buy/sell and trade function.

All-in-all it’s an exciting time in the Bullion.Directory / BIME Group, and only going to get more exciting in the coming years as gold hits new all-time highs.

 

The Future?

More fact finding. The best kind.

More fact finding. The best kind.

We’ve always planned on Dubai as being a long-term move, given it’s growing importance as a global gold-trading hub and it’s magnet-like attraction to the world’s wealthy.

Will it surpass our US-based trade?

It’s not impossible! As other countries in the region, notably Saudi Arabia, modernize, stabilize and open up to tourism and expat-owned businesses – we can only see market opportunities in precious metals go from strength to strength.

All I need do is survive the summer. Apparently only a few weeks to go…

 

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