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Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among those rushing to purchase gold due to the fact that its price has dropped significantly in recent days.
The valuable metal underwent the sharpest decline in value it has experienced for 70 years, with some shops removing gold items from the shelves, reports the Telegraph.
It is thought that they will return once the price goes back to its previous level in the Dubai and Qatar, which are well known as gold buying hotspots.
In the past it has been possible to purchase the metal in vending machines in bars, but it is slowly becoming harder to come by.
A reader of the Dubai newspaper 7Days wrote in a letter to the publication: "When my husband went to the Sharjah Gold Souq, known as Central Souq, the salesmen there said that they don’t have any in stock.
"He also told my husband not to waste time, as no one is selling gold, even though they have it in stock. My husband checked in a couple more shops and they all said the same thing."
With gold bars now scarce, small items such as jewellery are being bought in large quantities by those wishing to take advantage of the situation.
Expatriates are going to markets and smaller shops to pick up rings, necklaces and coins as insurance against the unstable local currency.
Since the financial crisis, gold has been seen as a much better investment option than monetary alternatives.
The UAE is not the only place where gold is in high demand with the US seeing a scramble for gold coins.
Over a period of three weeks in April, the US Mint sold 175,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins and it is believed that when the final figure for the month is in it could be an all-time high.
Michael Kramer, president of American coin dealer Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, said: "It's panic. This is one of the busiest times in quite a while. People think gold's at its lowest and they want to take advantage."
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