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Gold-dispensing ATM Opens in Abu Dhabi
May 14, 2010

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ATMs are not always what they seem. Sometimes, the automated teller machine dispenses gold.

That's the case with a machine at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, which is not only coated with a thin layer of gold but also will, for a price, give you something made of gold. The current range of 320 items on offer includes customized gold coins, gold bars of various weights (the largest being 10 grams), and many other things made of the precious metal. In the works is a souvenir gold bar made with the Emirates Palace logo. (No word on whether the logo will cost extra.)

All can be had in exchange for the requisite funds, of course. The machine now accepts dirhams, the local currency, but will soon be able to take funds from a credit card.

The machine, titled "Gold to Go," was tested in Germany (which is, by the way, the source of the gold in the machine at the moment). The Middle Eastern city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of and second-largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is the first to get a Gold to Go machine because so many of the people who do business there buy and sell gold. (Mindful of the current economic climate, many investors are preferring to deal in gold bars rather than dollars or currencies of other countries.) It doesn't hurt, either, that the hotel will serve you a cappuccino topped with tiny gold sprinklings.

The machine is computerized and is in touch with the international financial markets. The price of gold is updated every 10 minutes, round the clock. Investors are not surprised to have to pay more than 1,000 American dollars for an ounce of gold. (So the 10-gram bar of gold in the Gold to Go machine would cost 436 American dollars.)

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