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Meet two families that made Dubai’s Meena Bazaar a golden town



Photo above: Sanjay and Vinay Jethwani at Meena Jewellers in Meena Bazaar, Dubai. – Photo by Dhes Handumon

The shopping districts of Bur Dubai were founded on the hard work and perseverance of several Indian families who arrived in the UAE in the late 60s and early 70s. Back then, Bur Dubai and Deira were shopping districts that were home to some textile and electronic stores.

However, a handful of traders found benefit after entering the gold business. Even though the gold hub of Dubai was the Deira Gold Souq, several traders found interest in opening their stores in Meena Bazaar. These gold stores opened by traders like Lakshmandas Jethwani (Meena Jewellery) and the Khatwani family have now been taken over by their children.

Mohit Khatwani, Owner, Khushi Jewelers at the Meena Bazaar in Dubai. Photo by Dhes Handumon

Siblings Mohit and Priti Khatwani, directors of Khushi Jewellery, one of Meena Bazaar’s oldest gold shops, took over the gold business from their father.

Mohit, current director of Khushi Jewellery, said: “When we opened the store in 1991, it was during the peak of the Gulf War. We got a lot of scepticism from people about the opening. However, I think things have worked out for the best.”

Mohit added: “Meena Bazaar has expanded. Several gold store chains have set up shop, and there is a constant influx of tourists to the shops here. Our store is known for its bridal and polki jewellery.”

His sister Priti, who happens to be one of the few women in the gold procurement business, said more women needed to enter the market. “It is a predominantly male-run business, and women have exquisite tastes when it comes to gold and diamond jewellery. Women are also able to connect with other women buyers,” she said.

Brothers Sanjay and Vinay Jethwani, owners of Meena Jewellers, took over the business from their father Lakshmandas, who opened the first store in 1993.

Today, the family has four gold shops in Meena Bazaar. Sanjay said: “We are originally from Hyderabad in India. We came to the UAE to expand our business, and along with dad, we opened the first store.”

Vinay added: “In the beginning, there were a handful of gold traders in these streets. Today there are over 100 gold and diamond jewellery stores in Meena Bazar. It is very popular among tourists.”

The brothers said the boom for Meena Bazaar began in 1994 after the first Dubai Shopping Festival. “The entire street was decked up beautifully, and the lanes developed from there on,” said Sanjay.

Today, Meena Bazaar is home to several gold shops including Joy Alukkas, Malabar Gold, Kalyan Jewellers, Damas, PINK CITY by Anita Dongre, Siroya Jewellers and much more. These shops cater to needs of every segment of the South Asian society.

Courtesy: www.khaleejtimes.com

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