Tips for South Asians: Buying Gold in Dubai, UAE.

UAE is famous for her gold markets. Collections of the gold souks are really mind blowing. If you spend little time and do some homework then you can end up doing good shopping.

I went to UAE and stayed there in April and May 2011 for implementation of our Health Care ERP. During the tour I visited some of the most interesting parts of Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.

Writer in front of the world`s biggest gold ring in Deira, Dubai.

Me in front of world`s biggest gold ring(Certified by Guinness Book of the World Records) in Gold Souk, Dubai.

Here I am sharing some tips if you are planning to visit Dubai to buy some gold.

Buying Gold for the shoppers from Indian Sub-Continent (Specially those from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc) can be little confusing as we are used to of measuring gold in ‘Vori’, ‘Tola’ etc. I have never had any idea about them but when I needed to compare the price I had to learn what they are.

Buying gold in Dubai is really profitable because the gold is pure. It is at least 10% cheaper than the rate in Bangladesh. You can find variety and designs that is almost impossible to find anywhere in the sub-continent. Shoppers will find beautiful designs not only from the European designers but also from south-India, Kolkata, China, South-East Asia and of course different countries of Arab. If you are in a bit of tough budgeting, never even think about taking your girlfriend or wife there.

  • Gold markets are called Gold Souk. Because Souk is the Arabic of Market!
  • There are number of gold souks in Dubai and one big one in Sharjah. But the biggest gold souk is in Deira, Dubai. It is also the cheapest.
  • They sell gold in grams. Mind it 11.1 grams= 1 Vari (Vori).
  • There are different types of golds such as 24k, 22k, 18k etc.
  • You can hardly find ornaments of 24k gold. Most of the stores sell 24k gold only in Biskits that you can take home with you and then make whatever you want to.
  • The price remains same for all types of gold. However, making-cost differs. And this is where you can do hard bargaining.
  • You can pre-determine the price by checking online like in the following links: here and here and etc.
  • For example today I found that price of 22carat gold is AED 170.75. That means 1 Vori would be AED (170.75*11.1) = AED 1895.325 or (1895.325*20.25)= 38380 BDT.
  • This is relatively very cheap as now-a-days gold is almost BDT 43000 per vori in Bangladesh and there is no guarantee of pureness.
  • You can find all types of ornaments. But neckless with at least 50gm are good. But there is neckless of only 10gms available as well.
  • White gold is another good attraction. They are mostly decorated with diamonds.
  • Most of the ornaments of white gold are made of 18k gold but because of the diamonds that they come with are almost always costly. But you have to do really good bargain.
I hope the information would be useful for you. Do proper research if you are planning to go to Dubai to buy some gold.

THE NEWS: “Bangladesh luring back its migrant workers”

Just Published today about how the economic environment has changed between these two countries. The News in Pakistan`s highest circulated Daily in English along with The Dawn – Faysal.

By Ammar Shahbzi, Monday, June 27, 2011. Karachi.

For Original Post in The News Please Click Here.


Kamal Hossain came to Karachi in 1991 at the age of six. “Back then, coming to Pakistan was a dream,” he says. His father sold a small piece of land to pay for his airfare and pleaded with his uncle to take him along. Kamal began his life’s work as a domestic help at a bungalow in Defence. Today, he owns a Paan shop at a busy intersection in Gulistan-e-Johar, making Rs500-600 a day.

“In the early 90s, when I used to send money back to my village in Bangladesh, Rs1 was equal to 2 taka. I remember, after working for a few months at the bungalow, I sent Rs2,500 and my parents received 5,000 taka. It was worth it.”

In recent years, Pakistan’s economic slump and Bangladesh’s relatively stable growth have put the labour-class Bengali immigrants here into a dilemma.

“Bangladesh is no more what it used to be,” says Mohammad Jahid, a sugarcane-juice vendor. Jahid recently came back from Bangladesh and plans to wrap up his business and return for good.

Two of his cousins living with him since 2001 have recently moved back, leaving him alone in the city. “I am not sending money to my mother as regularly as I used to, because in every rupee I lose 25 paisa. Now it’s the opposite.”

According to the National Alien Registration Authority, there are more than two million Bengalis living in Karachi alone. Most of them are employed as micro-entrepreneurs, such as running a Paan shop. A majority of them are staying illegally.

Although, there is no official record to substantiate the recent flight of Bengalis back to their homeland, Mustafa*, a Karachi-based Hundi trader, agrees that Pakistan’s depreciating currency has dealt a blow to his once-thriving Hundi business.

“The volume of business has declined drastically in the last few years. Now I have cases when people are actually asking for money from their families in Bangladesh,” he said.

Jahid, the sugarcane vendor, had come here with high hopes. “Now people in rural areas are also thriving. They have money to spend. They are buying motorcycles and refrigerators. A lot has changed. Things look good.”

But there is a section of comparatively affluent Bengalis like Jahangir Mia, a garment-contractor, who doesn’t think going back is an option. Jahangir has been living in Karachi since mid-80s and speaks spotless Urdu. He calls Karachi his home and believes that the current economic dip is a bad patch, and the country will soon come out of it.

For most micro-entrepreneurs like Kamal and Jahid, who work on the roads of Karachi, the recent spate of violence in the city along with the rising cost of living is mainly influencing their decisions to wrap up their businesses.

In Musharraf’s era, things were still reasonable, they say. They used to keep their shops open till Fajr back then, and now they close after midnight. “We don’t even get enough time to do business.”

Despite being trapped in seemingly not-so-profitable ventures, there are those who believe that no matter what the circumstances are, Karachi still holds promises that the capital of Bangladesh — Dhaka — does not offer.

“I’ve been selling Paan, Chalia and goodies-for-kids for the last 14 years and I like the simplicity of this business,” says Mohammed Sharif, who is settled here since 1997.

He said that people in Dhaka were clueless about these products. “Here kids as young as 14 are addicted to Chalia, Gutkha and Naswar. And in Bangladesh, it is only the old people — Nannis and Daddis — who take these stuff. In Bangladesh, Paan too, is very unfashionable amongst middle-aged men. But here, this is what they chomp all day.”

Although there are no data to claim that hundreds, if not thousands, of Bengalis are wrapping up their businesses that took them decades to built, and are either going back to Bangladesh or making tireless efforts to move to Middle East, given the state of the economy and the security situation of the city and the personal accounts of many Bengalis, it is pretty obvious that for many Bengalis, Pakistan has lost its former greenness.

Mr. Irfan Zafar, CTIO, SSGC.

SSGC are partners of ATI Limited in Karachi, Pakistan. Lets hear from Mr. Irfan Zafar himself on this unique partnership in modernizing the Information Management systems of Pakistan:

Click here for a great interview of Mr. Irfan Zafar, CTIO, SSGC.

For those who do not know Sheikh, he comes from a company called ATI from BD. We have partnered with them to implement their state-of-the-art Hospital Management System at Dr. Zia Ud Din Hospital. Our vision is to make their product a standard for the healthcare industry in Pakistan. We have already proposed it at a few hospitals other than DZH. This is another initiative from SSGC as we provide consulting services to a wide range of industries as we have professionals on our team that compliment that.

I am currently on my third visit to Pakistan on these projects. In my current visit, I just started working in a new hospital for the implementation of HIS. The hospital Liaquat National Hospital is second largest in Karachi by area, manpower, patient flow and beds.

Currently I am also leading a team of four professionals who are implementing OPD, Corporate, Inventory, Purchasing, Lab & Pathology, HR and Schedule & Rosters Modules at the Dr. Zia Ud Din Hospital.

In this project SSGC has also deployed almost their full of ERP team lead by Mr. Rauf Aslam Butt. This team consists of around 10 professionals who are taking care of functional aspects and user training on the ATI Meditop.

Bangladesh Pakistan Disparity

Here are some more links on the debate how sharply and fast Bangladesh proving the contrast between the two countries once based on an idiotic ideology lived together for 24years!!! HOW???

Just read the Comments posted on main articles:

From Cricket Fans

Rober M. Hathaway: Read the main Article

One would appreciate my effort.. I am compiling all these sitting in the heart of Karachi, Pakistan 🙂

“it is Bangladesh which has become Jinnah`s Pakistan”

Success and failure

By S. Akbar Zaidi | From the Newspaper The Dawn.

For main Article please Click here.

THE country which was considered to be a basket case in 1971, is today offering a mirror to others on how developing countries can become a development state and is being referred to as the `development surprise` of the 21st century.

At the same time, it has also ensured that democracy is developing as a strong and permanent alternative to military rule, under which it has had many years of painful repression.

That this overwhelmingly Muslim country is also constitutionally and increasingly in practice politically secular is also a lesson for other Muslim majoritarian countries to emulate. The Supreme Court struck down a 31-year-old constitutional amendment and restored the country to its founding status as a secular republic, banning the writings of some radical Islamic ideologues.

The country which in the mid-1960s was heralded as a role model for other developing countries, where the international press had praised its military-led development model no end, stating that it might just reach the levels of development achieved only by the United States, has just appeared as the world`s 10th most failed, or failing, state. On the course towards reaching this rather ignominious distinction, this country has also been called “the most dangerous place in the world”, and a “rogue state with a nuclear arsenal”.

In the world of development achievements and democratic and secular credentials, it is Bangladesh today which offers a rather sad comment on Pakistan`s numerous failed promises. Bangladesh is one of the six countries in Asia and Africa which has been feted for its progress towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals, a set of targets that seek to eradicate extreme poverty and boost health, education and the status of women worldwide by 2015.

It has also halved its birth rate over the last few decades, happily giving up its title of the sixth most populous country to Pakistan. And despite the fanfare of having a larger number of women parliamentarians, it is Bangladesh which has far greater gender parity than does Pakistan, and women`s rights are better ensured in the former than in the latter.

Moreover, Bangladesh`s economy has grown at nearly six per cent a year over the past three years, despite the global downturn and high fuel and food prices which Pakistani finance officials cite as reasons for Pakistan`s failure. Furthermore, Bangladesh`s exports of garments worth $12.3bn last year, make it the fourth in the world behind China, the European Union and Turkey, leaving behind cotton-producing and exporting Pakistan.

Bangladesh gave the model of microfinance to the rest of the world and the man behind this received the Nobel Prize based on work undertaken at home for alleviating poverty. The fact that he was celebrated as a national hero differs sharply from the public and official treatment meted out to Pakistan`s Nobel laureate who was forced to do all his work abroad, in exile-like conditions, and never acknowledged as a son of Pakistan`s soil. Even in terms of diverse identities and religious tolerance, Pakistan can learn from the traditions of its former province. Economist

In a list of 167 countries listed by the magazine in its `Index of Democracy`, Bangladesh moved up the table from being 91st in 2008 to 83rd in 2010, while Pakistan also moved up, but from 108th to 104th. And despite being a democracy in 2010 and one of the two democracies on this list, Pakistan is 10th in the `Failed States Index`, and is part of a group that includes Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe and, of course, Afghanistan. One can dispute such a caricature for being politically motivated, however, this does require far greater and honest reflection.

Bangladesh as East Pakistan was probably a greater disaster created by the British than the one left behind and still unresolved in Kashmir. This was a union which the West Pakistani elite eventually forced and exploited. It should not have been, and it took 25 years for the Bangladeshi people to free themselves from the worst forms of West Pakistani repression — cultural, linguistic, economic, political and, of course, military.

Clearly, Bangladesh is not the only country which offers possible lessons for Pakistan, and the former is not devoid of a whole host of afflictions typical of developing countries. The argument being emphasised here is one of relative progress and possibilities. Clearly, at the moment Bangladesh seems to offer more of either than does Pakistan. And rather than fantasise about becoming another Turkey or Malaysia, as Pakistan`s elite is so fond of doing, perhaps it would be instructive to look closer home, and at small initial steps rather than grand, unachievable schemes.

In many ironic ways, it is Bangladesh which has become Jinnah`s Pakistan — democratic, developmental, liberal, secular — while Pakistan has become his worst nightmare — intolerant, authoritarian, illiberal and fundamentalist.

The West Pakistani elite which lived off the resources of East Pakistan for 25 years and was happy to see the basket case East Pakistan become Bangladesh, needs to seriously come to terms with its continuing hubris and past. The least that the civilian and military Pakistani elite can do is to seek forgiveness for the crimes committed four decades ago, and to begin to learn how basket cases and failed states can become successful democratic, developmental and secular states.

The writer is a political economist.

Java Classpath

Is there any Software Engineer ever, who has worked with Java and never cursed the classpath?

Well I have had suffered a lot with this. Anyway for the new comers here is an wonderful site detailing about the classpaths. For beginners it should be a must read:

Managing Java Classpath for Windows by Elliot Rusty Harold.

Do not just go with the name. There is a companion article detailing Managing Java Classpath for other platforms as well.

All the best.