Haggle on the price, haggle again and then haggle some more.
That is the advice jewellers have been giving tourists looking for a bargain during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which finishes today, after attracting a flood of visitors.
"You have to haggle," says Chetan Dakkan, a jeweller with 10 shops in souqs and malls around Dubai. "Everybody in Dubai knows you have to haggle. Don't agree on the first price."
He says there is no set discount retailers are willing to apply to the advertised price for jewellery, but many salesmen in stores have a discount limit they can eventually apply on each piece.
Each salesman might offer three of four discounts to buyers before they eventually hit the lowest margin they can take - and if the salesman calls management or the head office for approval, a buyer can rest assured they have brokered the best price.
"[The salesman] gave me a 10 per cent discount straight away," said one visiting tourist from the UK who had just bought a diamond necklace in the Gold & Diamond Park off Sheikh Zayed Road. "The price seemed lower than the UK, so I was happy to pay it."
Damian Rakitha, the head of Middle East brands at the jewellery maker Aaron Shum, which has a brand in the region called Lifestyle, says this tourist tale is one well told in the Emirates, because a "discount sale" culture is what often draws visitors during festivals such as DSF.
"In the Middle East 'discount sale' is a culture now and even tourists are advised that [they] need to request for higher discounts by their tour operators and that's been going on for years, and in a way it's very negative," he says.
"But that's the culture and if you don't give discounts you are not going to sell, even if your products are better in price."
Customers spent more than US$1.3 billion (Dh4.77bn) on jewellery, watches and silverware last year in the UAE, according to the research and information consultancy Euromonitor.
And retailers are expecting a better year ahead after sales during DSF increased 30 per cent for some stores compared with the event last year.
The Emirates remains a popular destination for those in search of jewellery from other parts of the world, such as Europe where prices are considered higher because of a combination of factors. Predominantly lower taxes draw customers to the UAE.
"Duty is much less in the UAE and that makes products much cheaper and more competitive, that's the reason Dubai is considered the jewellery hub in the Middle East," Mr Rakitha says.
In the eight months to August, the UAE's Federal Customs Authority said gold was the country's biggest import, with a value of Dh9.4bn, followed by diamonds, with a value of Dh4.2bn. Much of this is re-exported to be sold around the Middle East and Africa.
Importers pay 5 per cent duty on gold and diamond jewellery brought into the UAE, which compares favourably with other countries worldwide, where there is often also a sales or value-added tax that can be as high as 20 per cent. Compared with some major manufacturing spots such as Italy, the cost of the production and labour is also lower in Asia, from where much of the jewellery is produced and exported.
"We import about 95 per cent of our products," says Firoz Merchant, the chairman of Pure Gold Jewellers, which has more than 100 stores across the Middle East.
Competition is also high among retailers and souqs in the Emirates which keeps prices low, he says.
"Always competition is healthy. The competition always give us a good lesson. It's a very big, open market."
Because of this wide variety, competition and lower prices, retailers say they have seen an influx of tourists this DSF looking for bargains to take back home.
Depending on a retailer's store locations, tourist purchases can make up more than 60 per cent of total sales.
Mr Merchant says his sales during DSF increased 30 per cent on the same period last year.
"It is all very positive for the jewellery industry," he says. "It builds confidence for the rest of the year."
Anuraag Sinha, the managing director of Liali Jewellery, says his sales were also skewed towards tourists during DSF seeking deals on gold and diamonds.
"There has been a healthy growth in sales as compared to DSF last year," he says. "Visitors who come to the UAE are spoilt for choice of jewellery, because of amazing prices and value for money."
The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, an industry trade body, auctioned a total of 19kg of gold in the 32 days of DSF to entice shoppers.
Retailers said sales to Chinese tourists had started to make up a higher proportion of overall sales after Chinese New Year fell during DSF.
"Most notable were the Chinese tourists," Mr Merchant says.
"I saw a lot of Chinese people in groups of eight, 10, 12 people."