The total trade in rough diamonds in Dubai grew by a record 46.25 per cent in 2005, to US$3.734 billion, up from US$2.553 billion in 2004, according to the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Dubai exported diamonds valued at US$ 2.248 billion in 2005 while imports for the same period touched US$1.484 billion.
In terms of carat value, imports of rough diamonds stood at almost 37 million carats in 2005, while exports from Dubai reached over 34 million carats, bringing the total volume traded to more than 71 million carats. Dubai’s major trading partners for rough diamonds include India, Europe, China, and Russia.
“The UAE is one of the largest trading centres in the world for rough diamonds and is ideally located within the GCC region, which is the third largest consumer of diamond jewellery in the world, after the USA and Japan,” said Dr. David Rutledge, Chairman of Dubai Diamond Exchange.
The considerable growth in Dubai’s diamond trade assumes greater significance because diamonds are a scarce commodity with falling supply unable to cater to the growing global demand. The price of rough diamonds rose by 25 per cent in 2005.
“Since its inception, the DDE has managed the rough diamond trade in the UAE, and it remains the only exchange in the region which exists to service the diamond trade from mining to retail,” said Noora Jamsheer, Chief Executive Officer of DDE. “We are only one of three diamond bourses internationally that conduct B-2-B diamond tenders, enabling sellers to reach a wider market. In 2005 alone, approximately US$ 66 million worth of rough diamonds were tendered at the Dubai Diamond Exchange,” she added.
“Perhaps the DDE’s greatest contribution to the industry however, has been in its effort to implement international best practice in the local diamond industry by creating transparent policies, a well established legal framework and a strong regulatory environment, which will further drive the growth of the industry in and through Dubai,” said Ms Jamsheer.
As the government body in the UAE in charge of implementing the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), the DDE has cleared 1362 import certificates for diamonds 2005 in comparison to 867 certificates in 2004. The KP Office in the UAE also issued 1911 certificates for diamonds in 2005 certifying their legitimacy, in comparison to 1275 certificates issued in 2004.
The UAE is the first country in the Arab World to be a signatory to the KPCS, thus ensuring that all rough diamonds imported to the UAE have been mined in a legitimate manner.
The Kimberly Process certification scheme is a global initiative from the United Nations to resolve the problems of conflict diamonds. It comprises the issuance of a certificate by the diamond office at the source, to certify that diamonds have been mined under legitimate conditions.