In 2022, Russia became the United Arab Emirates’ top gold supplier, surpassing previous leading suppliers such as Mali, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.
This shift was primarily driven by Western sanctions imposed on Russia due to its conflict with Ukraine, which prompted Russia to seek new buyers for its gold. The UAE took advantage of the available gold supply, importing 96.4 tons of gold from Russia in 2022, equivalent to approximately one-third of Russia’s annual gold production.
This figure marked a significant increase compared to the UAE’s gold imports from Russia in 2021, which were only 1.3 tons. Prior to the conflict, a substantial portion of Russia’s gold had been directed to London, with the UK importing Russian gold worth an estimated $15.4 billion in 2021.
Gold trade plays a crucial role in the UAE’s economy, with the country being one of the world’s top gold importers and exporters.