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DUBAI (Reuters Life!) - Forget the henna and flashy jewelry, the latest accessory trend for the fashion-conscious party-goer in Dubai is a temporary tattoo made of real gold.
A new business in Dubai is offering temporary 24-carat gold tattoos as the ideal body adornment for weddings and other special occasions at a modest starting price of $50, an affordable option given rising gold prices.
Precious Skin has two outlets in Dubai -- one at the luxury, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel -- which will design and apply body tattoos made of 99.9 percent gold or platinum to add a bit of glitz to your personal style.
"It's a revolution in the body art business, it's the first time we can use 24 carat gold and platinum on skin," said Arnaud Flambeau, managing director of Flambeau Luxury Trading and Precious Skin.
Originally a Japanese concept, Flambeau thought the idea would catch on in the Gulf, where many women have temporary henna tattoos applied for weddings and special occasions.
"We have had a lot of interest so far because it's a new idea and a new product that's between jewelry, makeup and accessories and it's a lot easier to make the decision to get a gold tattoo than buy new jewelry," said Flambeau.
A thin film of gold or platinum is used to make the tattoo which is then applied to the skin and can last for up to a week, he said.
"More elaborate and larger designs can cost up to $5,500, and the idea really is just to have something that is very unique and new," Flambeau said.
"We plan to have a total of 25 branches in Dubai over the coming year and by January we will be in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain."
Branded as the city of gold, Dubai's gold retail sector has faced huge drops in sales as cash strapped consumers struggled to keep demand up with rising prices for the yellow metal.
Spot gold gained 0.3 percent to $1,407.34 an ounce on Thursday, just off an all-time high of $1,424.10 hit on Tuesday.
Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Paul Casciato