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Mon 3 Mar 2008 01:37 AM

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Dubai diamond trade soars 53%

Emirate cements position as sparkler hub with rough and polished trade worth $11.2bn in 2007.

Dubai diamond trade soars 53%
ROUGH TRADE: Polished diamond imports to Dubai increased by 73% in 2007, driven by a sharp rise in trade from Belgium and India. (Getty Images)

Dubai’s diamond trade witnessed record growth in 2007, increasing by 53% to reach $11.23 billion and confirming the emirate's role as an international diamond hub.

According to statistics from the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the emirate’s rough diamond trade saw a 29% increase from 2006 to reach $4.82 billion, with trade in polished diamonds rising a massive 88% to hit $6.41 billion.

Polished diamond imports to Dubai increased in 2007 by 73% to $3.68 billion, driven by a sharp increase in trade from Belgium and India, DDE, a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), said in statement.

Polished diamond imports from India reached $2.33 billion in 2007, up 88% from 1.24 million in 2006, while those from Belgium rose 50% to $630 million, up from $420 million the previous year.

Exports of polished diamonds in the same period rose by 115% to $2.73 billion.

DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem said “2007 has been a year of record growth for the UAE diamond trade which has crossed the psychological mark of $10bn. Dubai has become now a mature diamond centre, combining its role as an international hub, a regional distribution centre and a local consumer market”.

Rough diamond imports to Dubai hit $2 billion, up 28% from 2006, while exports stood at $2.82 billion for the same period, up 19%.

The sharpest increase in rough import came from Russia (89%), South Africa (133%) and Angola (78%), three leading diamond producing countries.

Youri Steverlynck, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Diamond Exchange said: "It is encouraging to see more rough diamonds coming directly from producing countries and more polished diamonds coming from established diamond centres like Antwerp and Mumbai being marketed in Dubai.

The trend underlines the Middle East's growing significance as a flourishing diamond consumer market and more importantly, Dubai's emerging role as the trade hub through which this potential market can be accessed.

We anticipate this trend to further increase once the new infrastructure of Almas tower becomes fully operational within a few months".

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