Saudi Gold Rush

When I was a kid, my relatives would often joke around while waiting for my father’s arrival in the airport. They would ask me, “Pa’no mo malalaman na galing sa Saudi ang isang tao?” (How will you know if a person is coming from Saudi Arabia?). Clueless, I would just shrug and would ask how. They would answer, “Pag mukhang may Hepa!” (If he looks like he’s suffering from Hepatitis!) They were pertaining to the color of the gold necklaces (layers and layers of it) and huge rings which most men from Saudi Arabia were wearing around their necks and on their fingers… YELLOW, which is also the color of the skin of Hepatitis patients (jaundice). I’m sure my father had his hine-Hepa phase too but I’m not going to remind him about that so moving on…
If oil is not enough to show how rich Saudi Arabia is, try putting gold in the equation. Saudi gold has always been a popular product from Saudi Arabia. There are many mines in the Kingdom including some in the Al-Madinah and Al-Qassim provinces; there’s some in the Riyadh province, one of which is the Al-Amar mine owned by the Ma’aden Group. They say that Saudi gold is one of the best, if not the best, in the world. It has a rich bright yellow color that denotes purity. But prices of Saudi gold has increased through the years. I’ve heard several Filipinos, veterans in KSA, exclaim their disapproval on the prices today or their resentment that they did not fill their coffers with gold when prices were very low during their early years in Saudi Arabia.
Gold never goes out of style.
But gold doesn’t lose its luster. A lot of people are still into it. Not being a “jewelry person”, I disregarded advice from friends to buy gold as an investment on my first year in Saudi Arabia. I’m just not into gold, or any other mineral turned into jewelries. As a matter of fact, I don’t even wear any other jewelry piece aside from a sterling silver ring given by my parents after my high school graduation.
The brother is getting married later this year so he dragged us to three gold souks (traditional market) in Riyadh to look for the perfect wedding rings. This is also timely as we celebrate eid today. Most women would want jewelries as gifts on this celebration. Well then, don’t just sit there! You’re coming with me to see these souks! Hahaha.

1. Manila Plaza, Batha 
 
Each store has a “repair man” or engraver.
Manila Plaza has a handful of gold shops. It’s quite popular with expats because it’s in Batha, a known hang-out place. You’ll find 4-6 stores the moment you step into the building. Chances are, they have the same designs and prices but most sellers already know how much the Filipinos love gold so they would charm and entice customers by speaking in Tagalog and offering discounts. They also offer customization. Give them the design you want and they’ll give you a quote pronto. The price of gold when we visited yesterday was SR180 per gram for 21-carat (carat or karat is the unit of purity for gold alloys; 24-carat being the highest/purest).
You’ll be spending a few hours just by looking!
Pendants galore!
Cocktail rings with stones
Combination of yellow and white gold
Shining bright under the lights
Bands of bling
Manila Plaza, named after the Philippines’ capital, is filled with other nationalities on a weekend. Apart from being a gold souk, it houses other stores offering cellphones and apparel. I’m guessing a few will ask where it is located. If you know the infamous mosque in Batha, Manila Plaza is a building away, just in front of the empty parking lot, opposite the Cabalen building. For a map and coordinates, kindly check here.
2. Shola Shopping Center, King Abdul Aziz Road 
 
One of the oldest shopping centers in Riyadh
To where the treasures are
An alley of gold stores.
Seeing the sign to the gold souk, I thought Shola has a lot of gold stores. Turns out, their gold market has around 8-10 shops only. It’s quite a good place to shop for gold though because it’s less crowded and stores have ample space and vendors to accommodate customers. They have more beautiful and interesting designs than in Batha but lesser stock. Their price is also at SR180-195 per gram for 21c.
A very interesting piece of conversation when worn.
Put a ring on it!
Or better, put a HUGE gold ring on it!
Bangles that will outshine you.
I feel dizzy just by looking at this yellow-ness!
All of the above, please!
Beautify your wrists
Shola Shopping Center has seen its heyday. It was flocked by locals and expats for its cheap goods and crafts stores. Until now, a lot of locals still visit the old mall but the expats have since moved on. Coming from Batha, travel King Abdul Aziz road and you’ll find Shola at your right, just after Radisson SAS and Venice Mall. For a map and coordinates, visit here.
3. Souk Taibah (aka Kuwaiti Souk), King Fahd Road 
 
Kuwaiti Souk has more than just gold stores.
Lots of shoppers
A reader, Abeer, suggested Souk Tayaba in our Facebook page when I posted a photo of gold bracelets (thanks, Abeer!). I thought it was a market I didn’t know about. A few research and I found out it’s another name for Kuwaiti Souk along King Fahd Road, just before Riyadh Gallery. This souk has certainly a lot of gold stores, including the famous Al-Romaizan and Damas Gold and Jewelry stores. You’ll find a lot of jewelry designs here ready for the taking. It’s quite weird though that most stores in this area don’t offer wedding rings. They sell fancy and intricately-designed ones, including those decorated with diamonds. The price here is higher than Batha’s and Shola’s. It’s at SR210 per gram for 21c.
Stones and gold, what better combination?
This, this, and this!
Lots of choices. Not for the indecisive.
Intricate pendants
Oh what craftsmanship goes into each of these!
Souk Taibah aka Kuwaiti Souk aka Al-Owais has gold and more. I bought my floral carpet (which can be seen in the “Staycation” entry) in this souk. From carpets to toys to clothing… there’s something for everyone in this souk so it’s worth a visit even if you’re not looking for gold. Souk Taibah is located in Mohamadiyah off King Fahd Road. If you’re coming from the direction of Faisaliah Mall and Kingdom Mall, it’s in your right just before Riyadh Gallery. Click this link for the map and coordinates.That ends our gold souk tour… for now.

I have no idea which specific stores offer the best. To me, they’re all the same, as long as they offer real gold so don’t ask me which is the best store to buy from. Also, I could not, for the life of me, determine if what I’m seeing is white gold or just another white metal. Hehe. I found the combination of yellow gold and white gold more interesting than an all-yellow gold piece. It looks more, hmn, youthful and fun.

Gold: more expensive than ever.
The father has been muttering under his breath when he learned the gold prices in the stores we’ve visited. During his early years in the Kingdom in the ’90s, the price of gold was just SR30-45 per gram. There are a lot of factors that contributed to the soaring prices of gold today and we can only dream of that time when we can buy gold jewelry cheaper than a pair of Zara shoes or an MNG bag. It’s still quite wise to buy gold nowadays. They don’t lose their value (just don’t be a tambay [hanging out frequently] in pawnshops back home, okay?!) and families and friends can always appreciate a piece of the infamous Saudi gold. They’re still the perfect gifts to your loved ones.
As for me, I promise to buy a gold necklace with my name written in Arabic before I leave the Kingdom for good. (Masabi lang na nakapag-Saudi?! LOL!) That’s a little bit out of my budget so I guess I’ll still be toiling in the desert for a few years more. Don’t worry, I’m only keen on buying one. I don’t want to be tagged as hine-Hepa by my makukulit (importunately funny) relatives.
 How about you? Own a collection by now? 😉 ~ Sundrenched

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About Author

Janelle
Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

34 Comments

  1. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    try to visit the shops at the clock tower passing through batha road..it is located near the lulu supermarket. Based on experience they are cheaper than the prices at Batha.

  2. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    heyah sundrenched… I hope you can write/post some tips on how to tell if it's real saudi gold or some italian gold or what other gold there are..all those golds look the same..thanks..

  3. Hello! Unfortunately, I am not a jeweler so I cannot share tips on how to distinguish among the kinds of gold in the market. But I will try to ask the vendors and jewelers in the renowned jewelry shops here when I get the chance to drop by these stores. Thank you for reading The Pink Tarha! 🙂

  4. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    The prize of gold during 1977 is 12 s.r. per gram. if i convert my money to gold during time i am millionaire right now.

  5. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    how about buying bar gold, where we can buy here in riyadh

  6. @Anonymous 8:17AM: You can visit the stores above and inquire if they have gold bars. 🙂

  7. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    Hi! accidentally saw your blogsite and I enjoyed it a lot!! I keep on reading your blogs and it seemed like i&#39;ve been in saudi too.. My fiance is there also, in Hail and told him about your site.. Told him to bring me there so I can go shopping lol.. <br /><br />More power Pink Tarah!! Keep on posting!!

  8. Hello Anonymous 8:52PM: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed our site. 🙂 Yes, tell him to marry you now and go here! LOL. Although Hail might be a different story. It&#39;s like a province in Saudi and might not have the same malls and shopping centers as the ones we have in Riyadh. 😛

  9. hi pinktarha. iwas surfing the net on where to find real gold here in riyadh coz im due on vacation. how much would be the set of gold as time of the year? and how much is the per gram of gold this month? tnx 😉

  10. Hi Hanan, we have no idea as of the moment because we haven&#39;t visited gold souks since I wrote this entry. It might be around SR200+ per gram.

  11. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    hola a todo! hoy el presio de oros en batha esta muy barato, necesitan compar muchos oros ahora porque los oros tienen 145 riyales per gramo! buena suerte!

  12. good day,<br /><br />can i know where is the cheap price gold here in riyadh?<br />cause my plan is to buy my mother 1 set gold but i dont know where i can buy , i want cheap so i can save some money ,<br /><br />and i want to know how much per gram now ,<br /><br /><br />thanks and more power,

  13. Hi Jonathan, the places listed above are known for their affordable gold. Manila Plaza in Batha is the cheapest among the three. We&#39;re not sure what the latest price of gold per gram is but it might be around SR180-200. Thanks for reading The Pink Tarha! 🙂

  14. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    gaano po kadami ang pwede iuwing gold sa pinas in terms of weight na hndi ka makukwestyon sa immigration ng KSA at Pinas?<br />

  15. @Anonymous 11:14PM: Based on our research, as long as the value of the gold doesn&#39;t go over $10,000, it&#39;s permitted but you have to show a clearance of their authenticity to Customs.

  16. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    hi po gusto ko lang po malaman kung papano po yung pricing ng gold…halimbawa po ipagpalagay na po natin na 200sar x gram ang 21k na gold…if ever po ba meron ako gustong ring na 5grams kaso may design may mga bato pa like yung mga pics sa taas…magkano po kya yun?sobrang mahal po ba?pinangakuan po kc ako ng asawa ko na bibilhan niya&#39;ko ng mga gold diyan worth 50k daw kaso naisip ko bka sa

  17. @Anonymous 11:58PM: The price of gold is just the gold, not including the stones that will go with the jewelry. The stones, depending on the kind and size, have varied prizes. Saudi Arabia is one of the places where you can buy cheaper gold but make sure he goes to good gold stores. Of course your husband can go to stores and ask prices without buying. The pictures above are taken discreetly (

  18. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    hi oh,,ask ko lng if mayron bang silver jewellery rin dto sa riyadh,,at san pwd mkabili

  19. @Anonymous 11:30PM: Silver is available in gold stores too however, there are not a lot and not a lot of stores sell it.

  20. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    Pwd po b magtnong magkano po yun rope chain n kuwintas 18k po cya,katamtaman lng po ang sukat hnggang dibdib at ktamtaman lng po ang lapad nya?

  21. Avatar Anonymous Reply

    Hello, I&#39;ve been to those three souks that you have mentioned and among the three I suggest na best parin sa Manila Plaza because by this time Shola is still closed dahil nasunog at yung Al Taibah naman mas mahal ang per gramo and as you&#39;ve said the designs are too fancy at walang wedding rings. I may add another souk, it is located near NestO Batha after the flyover when you are coming

  22. im planning to buy some gold this coming ramadan season,is there any ramadan discount sales of gold thankss,,

  23. Avatar tajlove Reply

    Hi can you name a specific shop of gold in batha? And where can you get that clearance certificate for your jewelry?

    • Janelle Janelle Reply

      Sorry, we’re not familiar with names of gold stores in Batha. But if you want the really huge stores for them with certificate and all, try Damas and Al Romaizan jewelries in Kuwaiti souk and other malls.

  24. Avatar june Reply

    how to order online? how much the 18k saudi gold jewelry? thanks!

  25. Avatar Anas Reply

    Thank you very much for all the information. I was looking for a place to by a wedding ring for my fiancee. But now a need a drive there :

  26. Avatar sandy dela cruz Reply

    ask kong saan po jewelry shops here in al khobar Saudi Arabia yng mkmura tyo at magandang styles.

  27. Avatar sandy zarsaparilla Reply

    Hi..ask q lng po pano kpg nawala po ung certificate ng nbiling gold?.pwd po b q mhold s airport?.pauwi n po kc aq ng pinas..tnx

  28. Avatar Aj hwang Reply

    Hi ask ko lang first time ko bibili ng gold eh never naman kasi namili when in pinas ako hindi ko kasi alam kung paano ko malalaman kung totoo ung gold at san pwd makabili ung tama lang ung price dito sa riyadh thank you

  29. Avatar Vince Reply

    Hi Pink Tarha, what time po yung gold souqs opening hours on saturdays? Thanks

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