« High-end repo men nab yachts, mansions and private jets | Main | Do car dealerships still use high pressure tactics? »

May 14, 2021

A gold-dispensing ATM? Only in Abu Dhabi

There’s no short list of reasons the United Arab Emirates are more extravagant than Canada.

Exhibits A, B and C in the courtroom: the oil-rich region boasts an underwater hotel, an 818-metre high tower and a whiskey that’s $7,438 per shot.

Yet just to hammer the point home, the country has raised the stakes. Bringing to the judge’s attention – the gold-dispensing ATM.

Emirates Palace, the ritzy Abu Dhabi hotel, has made headlines this week with its “Gold to Go” machine, an ATM-like device it unveiled that spits out gold bars and coins.

Spokespeople for the US$2.8 billion hotel, where rooms go as high as $11,500 per night, said the machine is in the “perfect place” at Emirates Palace, since indeed much of the exclusive building is furnished in real gold.

The ATM works like this: guests of the hotel, if they feel the need, can deposit cash into the machine in exchange for gold bars of up to 10 grams in weight.

Coins, engraved with symbols of the maple leaf, kangaroo and Krugerrand (in honour of gold-producing nations Canada, Australia and South Africa, respectively), are also available.

Now, if this ATM sounds like a novelty, that’s because it is. But in true Abu Dhabi style, the device is also quite sophisticated.

Gold to Go monitors prices of the commodity up to the minute, and also features anti-money laundering software that shuts the machine down if it's suspicious of foul play.

No word yet on what fees or commissions are charged by Gold to Go but, as the Consumerist notes, if you’re staying at the Emirates Palace and using an ATM that converts gash to gold bars, you probably don’t care.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...