Dubai Pearl Exchange (DPE), a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA), announced today that a total of AED 99.6 million worth of pearls was transacted in Dubai in 2009. According to statistics from Dubai World Statistics Department, the pearl trade rose from AED 95 million to AED 99.6 million last year, driven by a 30 percent increase in imports. These figures are especially impressive given the extremely tough economic conditions that were expected to impact the trade.
Furthermore, DPE noted that the trend towards high-quality pearls has increased significantly in Dubai, highlighting a shift in consumer preference towards exclusive pearls. Consumption levels for pearls in Dubai have also increased over the last year, reflected through lower exports than the previous year. This increase was driven by substantial growth in the natural pearls segment, where volumes increased by 50 percent and values tripled.
“Pearls are integral to the history of the region, and DMCCA is working towards revitalising the traditional Arabian pearl trade that once thrived through the ports of the UAE,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCCA. “As we work towards this objective, it is encouraging to see significant volumes of pearls traded through Dubai. These latest figures highlighting the growth of the pearl trade are significant, even more so due to the pearl trade having quadrupled in 2008 from 2007. Maintaining this growth within today’s economic climate, when trade is at an all-time low, is a testimony to the robustness of the pearl industry and the efforts DPE and DMCCA have made to support and increase the trade through various initiatives.”
Since its launch in 2007, DPE has contributed significantly to the trading of pearls in the emirate. Aiming to create an active marketplace in Dubai through a member-based trading platform, DPE launched the Dubai Pearl Tender. The tender facilitated private pearl sales offering buyers some of the world's most rare and sought-after gem quality natural and cultured pearls. The DPE platform has grown steadily since its inception, resulting in an exponential growth in pearl trade during 2008, and a subsequent increase in 2009. DPE’s first-ever Dubai Pearl Tender generated sales of over AED 3.5 million in wholesale value. The tender also saw some single pieces achieving sale prices over AED 150,000.
Trade of natural pearls in Dubai has witnessed a monetary growth of over ten times in recent years, driven by imports through Australia and India last year, in addition to re-exports to new markets including Bahrain, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
The cultured pearl trade in Dubai has been driven through imports from Australia, China and Hong Kong last year, along with re-exports to a variety of diverse markets such as Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Lebanon and Switzerland.