Dubai’s commodities exchange rejected claims it doesn’t do enough to regulate its gold business, while the United Arab Emirates government announced new guidelines for trading the metal.
“I want to address the elephant in the room, namely the consistent and unsubstantiated attacks launched on Dubai by other trading centres and institutions,” the chief executive officer of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Ahmed bin Sulayem, said Thursday at a conference in the emirate. They are “lies”.
Bin Sulayem’s comments come as concerns mount about Dubai’s role in the illicit gold business. Critics say regulatory loopholes allow bullion used for money laundering and smuggled out of war zones to trade there.
Switzerland has told its gold refiners to do more to identify the origin of bullion arriving from the UAE. The London Bullion Market Association last year threatened to blacklist countries that didn’t meet its standards, a move aimed at Dubai and the UAE, Bloomberg reported.
UAE officials say critics feel threatened by the country’s success in building a gold industry.
“As a strategic location that connects producing countries with manufacturing centers with the largest consumers in the world, Dubai has a comparative advantage,” Bin Sulayem said.
Shortly after he spoke, a UAE minister said Dubai’s gold-refining standards would be expanded across the country, albeit on a voluntary basis.
The UAE will begin to use a ‘Good Delivery Standard’ for gold to bring its practices closer to those used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the minister of state for foreign trade, Thani Al Zeyoudi, said.