Abu Dhabi Gets Gold Vending Machine

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Gold To Go

Like something from a James Bond film, Abu Dhabi's top hotel, the Emirates Palace, recently debuted a vending machine that dispenses gold bars.

The machine, named Gold To Go, allows customers to trade cash for gold in quantities ranging from coins up to 10-gram bars. The price of gold, which was up to $1,245 an ounce yesterday, is measured by the machine every ten minutes.

Abu Dhabi isn't the first place to showcase the machines. Gold To Go was developed by German inventor Thomas Geissler, and the first machines debuted last year in Frankfurt's Airport.

The exterior of the machine is coated with a thin layer of 24-carat gold. Customers using the unusual ATM can choose from 320 items, including gold customized with logos.

"All the gold is imported from Germany, and soon we will have a customized gold bar with a print of the Emirates Palace logo, which will be a nice souvenir for guests to take home," Geissler told Reuters on May 13th.

Currently, customers can buy gold coins engraved with a maple leaf, kangaroo, and Krugerrand -- representing the gold-producing nations of Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Thanks to the region's high demand for gold, and the high-roller atmosphere of the city, Gold To Go has already seen its fair share of customers.

"On the first night we had a lot of demand," Geissler told Reuters. "One customer even bought one item of every product we have."

The Emirates Palace, a hotel frequented by visiting dignitaries and billionaires, is no stranger to opulence, as gold graces everything from ceilings to cappuccino foam.
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