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The First Gold Vending Machine - Buying Gold at an ATM
First in Abu Dhabi
I'm sure that some people will not be surprised to hear that the first gold vending machine was initially located in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. As the hotel itself is dripping with gold it seems like this was an appropriate place to have the world's first gold ATM.
The vending machine was introduced in 2010 to test the market at a time when the market price of gold was very high. The machine itself is linked to a computer which updates the price every ten minutes depending on the current market price of gold.
Now in Dubai
In 2011 the gold vending machine was moved to it's more permanent home in Dubai. It is now located in the Mall of the Emirates, near Ski Dubai, on the ground floor of the mall. At the moment it only takes cash but it is geared up to accept credit cards at some time in the future.
From the machine you can buy a selection of gold items (10 items at present) and once you have paid your cash, the gold is dispensed below.
The gold vending machine itself seems quite inconspicuous in the mall, like just another cash ATM and it is only it's gold colour that gives away the fact that it might be doing something other than just dispensing cash.
Although this was the first gold vending machine in the world, at the time of writing it seems there are 2 more in the US, one of which is in Las Vegas (also a reasonably obvious choice!). The company who thought up this idea (Gold To Go) is a German based company and is planning on installing more machines in suitable locations throughout the world so keep an eye out in a shopping mall near you!