Dubai, the Gulf’s gold trading centre, is on track to become
the world’s second largest diamond trade hub within the next year, the
executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre said Monday.
The Gulf emirate is currently the world’s fourth largest
diamond trader but is rapidly moving up the rankings, Ahmed Bin Sulayem told Arabian
''I do see that growing further, I see it reaching the top
two in the next year or so,'' he said on the sidelines of the 5thArabian
Business Forum in Dubai.
“I believe you are going to see bigger trade coming through
Dubai and maybe the diamond financing will add even more stability to the
diamond business in Dubai.”
The speed of the city’s growth is dependent on the
willingness of regional banks to offer credit to diamond traders, he added. Local
lenders have a lack of industry expertise, when compared to those in more
established hubs such as New York and Mumbai.
Dubai traded $25.3bn of rough and polished diamonds in the
first half of 2011, up from $35bn in 2010. DMCC, which provides the infrastructure
for the city’s commodities trade, ranks Dubai as the world's fourth largest
diamond trading hub, behind Antwerp, New York and Mumbai.
The GCC’s tense diplomatic relationship with Israel has been
mooted as a barrier to the growth of Dubai’s diamond trade, as Israeli
jewellers play a prominent role in the wholesale industry. But Sulayem said the majority of the Gulf
emirate’s diamond trade was driven by other markets.
"Israel now is not as relevant as it used to be. Israel
does not own any mines, all the mines are in Australia, Africa, Russia and
Canada," he said.
"The mines are not in Israel; the productions are not
from Israel, that's the trading centre. They are competing as they are, they
are a very strong competitor but as far as Dubai is concerned, our biggest
trading partners is India, and Europe and Africa.”
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