How Much Gold is Allowed from Dubai to India

How Much Gold is Allowed from Dubai to India

Gold has always held a special place in Indian culture and traditions. More than just a precious metal, it symbolizes prosperity, wealth, and auspiciousness. For Indians, gold is deeply intertwined with sentiments, rituals, and celebrations. Buying gold is not just about adorning oneself with exquisite jewelry but also about securing a valuable investment for the future.

Given this deep-rooted affinity for gold, it comes as no surprise that many Indians flock to Dubai to purchase the precious metal. The city's bustling gold souks and retailers offer various gold items at competitive prices, making it an attractive destination for gold enthusiasts. Additionally, the significant Indian expatriate community in Dubai often takes the opportunity to buy gold during their visits home, intending to gift it to their loved ones or add it to their personal collections.

However, when it comes to carrying gold across international borders, there are specific regulations and limits in place. As the excitement of purchasing gold builds, it is crucial for travelers to be aware of the permissible quantities, duty-free allowances, and potential customs duties.

This article aims to provide comprehensive guidance on the rules and regulations governing the transfer of gold from Dubai to India, ensuring that your precious purchases reach their intended destinations without any complications.

Why Dubai Appeals to Gold Buyers?

Dubai's position as a global hub for gold trade is undeniable, attracting buyers from across the world, including a vast number of Indian nationals. Several factors contribute to the city's appeal as a gold-buying hotspot:

  • Unlike India, where a 3% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied on gold bullion and jewelry, Dubai does not impose any such tax, making the precious metal more affordable.
  • Jewelry stores in Dubai often charge lower manufacturing costs, resulting in 24K gold being approximately 5% to 7% cheaper than in India.
  • The daily global gold rates and the currency exchange rate between the UAE dirham and the Indian rupee play a significant role in determining the price difference, often favoring buyers in Dubai.

With these cost advantages, Dubai has emerged as a popular destination for Indians looking to invest in gold, whether for personal adornment or as a hedge against economic uncertainties.

Customs Duty Charges on Gold

Custom duty charges are import taxes levied by the Indian government on gold brought into the country. The rates vary depending on the form of gold and the duration of the traveler’s stay abroad.

Gold Bars:

  • Less than 20 grams: No customs duty
  • 20 grams to 100 grams: 3% customs duty
  • Over 100 grams: 10% customs duty

Other Forms (Coins, Ornaments):

  • Less than 20 grams: No customs duty
  • 20 grams to 100 grams: 10% customs duty

Duty-free Gold Carrying Limits

The Indian customs authorities have established specific duty-free limits for carrying gold into the country, taking into account gender and age.

Male Passengers:

  • Limit: 20 grams, valued up to INR 50,000
  • Duty Rates for Excess:
    • 20 grams to 50 grams: 3%
    • 50 grams to 100 grams: 6%
    • Over 100 grams: 10%

Female Passengers:

  • Limit: 40 grams, valued up to INR 100,000
  • Duty Rates for Excess:
    • 40 grams to 100 grams: 3%
    • 100 grams to 200 grams: 6%
    • Over 200 grams: 10%


  • Limit: 40 grams, duty-free
  • Duty Rates for Excess:
    • 40 grams to 100 grams: 3%
    • 100 grams to 200 grams: 6%
    • Over 200 grams: 10%

It is important to note that these duty-free limits apply to travelers who have spent less than six months abroad. For those who have been away for an extended period, the regulations differ.

Extended Stay Allowances

Travelers who have resided abroad for more than six months are granted additional allowances when it comes to carrying gold into India. These relaxed rules are designed to accommodate the needs of expatriates and long-term travelers.

If the duration of stay abroad exceeds one year, passengers are permitted to bring up to 1 kg of gold into India, subject to a customs duty of 13.7%. Additionally, they are granted a duty-free allowance of INR 50,000 for males and INR 100,000 for females.

For those who have spent between six months and one year outside India, the customs duty remains at 13.7% for up to 1 kg of gold, but without any duty-free allowance.

Travellers who have been abroad for less than six months are subject to a higher customs duty of 38.5% on all gold brought into the country, regardless of the quantity.

Exceeding the Maximum Gold Limit

While the Indian customs authorities have established limits for duty-free and duty-paid gold imports, it is essential to note that UAE regulations also impose restrictions on the quantity of gold that can be carried across borders. According to these regulations, passengers should not carry more than 10 kg of gold.

If the amount of gold exceeds this limit, a customs duty of 38.5% will be imposed, regardless of the duration of the stay abroad. Additionally, several conditions must be met for importing gold above the prescribed limit:

  • Proof of purchase and other required documents must be presented to customs officials.
  • Customs duty should be paid in convertible foreign currency, such as US dollars or UAE dirhams.
  • Gold jewelry with gemstones and pearls is not allowed to be imported above the limit.
  • Gold exceeding the permitted limit can only be obtained from the Customs bonded warehouse of the State Bank of India or Metals and Minerals Trading.


Can I buy gold in Dubai duty-free?
Yes, you can buy gold within the permissible limit without paying customs duty if you have resided in Dubai for more than six months. Male passengers can carry up to 20 grams, while female passengers and children can carry up to 40 grams.

How much gold can I carry from Dubai?
Male passengers can carry up to 20 grams, while female passengers and children can carry up to 40 grams. Excess amounts will attract customs duty.

Do I have to declare gold at customs in India?
Yes, if you are carrying more than the duty-free limit, you need to declare it at customs. Failure to do so can result in penalties and confiscation.

How is the customs duty on gold calculated?
Customs duty is calculated based on the type of gold item, its quantity, and current global gold prices. Proper documentation is required to accurately estimate the value and duty.

Can I bring gold in forms other than jewelry?
Yes, you can bring gold in the form of bars or coins, but these forms are subject to customs duty. Jewelry is the only form of gold that is eligible for a duty-free allowance.

What documentation do I need to carry gold from Dubai to India?
You should have purchase receipts or invoices that detail the gold's weight, purity, price, and date of purchase. This documentation is necessary for customs verification to avoid penalties and ensure smooth processing.

Are there any restrictions on the type of gold jewelry?
Yes, the duty-free allowance only applies to plain gold jewelry. Gold jewelry studded with pearls, diamonds, or other precious stones is not included in the duty-free allowance and will attract customs duty.

How can I pay the customs duty on gold?
Customs duty can be paid in convertible foreign currency, which is often more favorable. If paid in Indian Rupees, the applicable customs duty is 15%, including a 10% basic customs duty and a 5% Agriculture Infrastructure Cess.

Is there a limit on the number of trips I can bring gold to India?
Passengers cannot avail of duty-free allowances on gold if they have brought gold into India within the last six months. The allowance is only applicable if there have been no imports of gold or other precious metals and gemstones in that period.

What if my gold gets damaged or lost during the flight?
It is advisable to carry gold in your cabin luggage to minimize the risk of damage or loss. Additionally, ensure that you secure your gold items properly and consider insurance for high-value items.

Hopefully, this guide has addressed all your questions, from the duty-free limits to the documentation required, and everything in between. By being well-informed, you can make the most of your gold-buying experience in Dubai while navigating the cross-border transportation process with ease and confidence.

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