UAE Overtakes Belgium As World’s Largest Rough Diamond Trading Hub: DMCC

The UAE reached the top spot globally as a rough diamond hub, trading over $22.8 billion-worth of rough diamonds in 2021, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, and Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange, said in his opening remarks at the Dubai Diamond Conference (DDC) held under the theme “The Future of Diamonds”, on 21st February. The country’s polished segment continues to grow at pace, closing in on the current market leader, he noted.

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

Bin Sulayem said: “I am humbled to share that in 2021, Dubai, UAE, became the number one rough diamond trading hub in the world. With $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. 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.”

DMCC stated that Dubai is at the centre of a connected diamond supply chain owing to direct flights to other diamond hubs across the world, including mining countries in Africa and manufacturing centres in India. Additionally, Dubai is home to the two Kimberly Process (KP) offices in the UAE, making the emirate the only entry point for rough diamonds in the country.

The fifth edition of the DDC convened 550 government officials, trade association members, and leaders of businesses across the supply chain – from miners and manufacturers to financiers and retailers. This year’s DDC featured speakers including HE Dr Diamantino Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Republic of Angola; Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers; Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa; Colin Shah, Chairman of the GJEPC; Yoram Dvash, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; and Ronnie van der Linden, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association.

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”.

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