UAE Diamond industry shines as world’s largest rough diamond trading hub

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE)

The UAE has climbed to the top spot globally as a rough diamond hub, said Mr. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the world’s flagship Free Zone.

The country’s polished segment continues to grow at pace, closing in on the current market leader, added DMCC, CEO at Dubai Diamond Conference (DDC), an event organized by the Centre under the theme “The Future of Diamonds.”

Since 2015, the UAE has increased its rough diamonds trade by 76 percent, overtaking Belgium as the world’s leading rough trade hub. The total diamond trade in the UAE grew by 83 percent between 2020 and 2021, demonstrating both the industry’s resilience and Dubai’s critical role in the global sector.

Free trade policies have encouraged traders from all over the world to set bases in Dubai including most of the large diamond companies from India. Diamonds have become one of the leading imports in Dubai.

Dubai has attracted investors and tourists from all over the world to come and purchase gold and diamonds. Dubai has become the cheapest destination to purchase expensive shining treasures.

Dubai boasts direct flights to other diamond hubs across the world, including mining countries in Africa and manufacturing centers in India, resulting in a connected supply chain with Dubai at its center. Additionally, Dubai is also home to the two Kimberly Process (KP) offices in the UAE, making the emirate the only entry point for rough diamonds in the country.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem
Ahmed Bin Sulayem Chairman
Dubai Diamond Exchange

“I am humbled to share that in 2021, Dubai, UAE, became the number one rough diamond trading hub in the world. With USD 22.8 billion in rough trade last year, we are continuing to grow thanks to the trust and support received from so many of our guests here today – we accomplished this together.”

The CEO of DMCC further added that “This major milestone clearly demonstrates the determination of both Dubai and DMCC in advancing the global industry. Having grown to become the rough diamond capital of the world, we understand the importance of listening to the market, adapting, and taking action – which is why the Dubai Diamond Conference is such a critical event for the sector. Through this same method, we will continue to work towards becoming the capital for polished diamonds as well.”

The fifth edition of the conference assembled 550 government officials, trade association members, and leaders of businesses across the supply chain, from miners and manufacturers to financiers and retailers.

Seeking to encourage dialogue on the most critical challenges and growth opportunities in the industry, the DDC offered attendees a busy agenda that included four main panels titled: “Why did diamonds do so well during COVID?”, “The New Consumer and Changing Demands”, “Rethinking the Diamond Supply Chain” and “Perspectives from the trade associations”.

DMCC’s Dubai Diamond Exchange is the largest diamond tender facility in the world, home to over 1,100 diamond companies, providing members and industry professionals with state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilities, and services to trade with confidence.

Especially, for a free zone company, the investors can enjoy 100% foreign ownership, free exchange, and profit repatriation. They can also apply for a resident visa through a free zone company, which could be used to apply for a tax residence certificate.

Related: DMCC unveils ‘Impact Scale-Up Program’ with UAE’s social enterprise C3