By Neeraj Gangal
Pearl imports rise by 30%; contributing to trade value increase of 3.8%.
A total of AED99.6m ($27.12m) worth of pearls was transacted in Dubai in 2009, Dubai Pearl Exchange (DPE), a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA), announced on Friday.
According to statistics from Dubai World Statistics Department, the pearl trade rose from AED95m to AED99.6m last year, driven by a 30 percent increase in imports.
The trend towards high-quality pearls has increased significantly in Dubai, highlighting a shift in consumer preference towards exclusive pearls, the DPE said in its press release.
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, it added.
"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,” he added.
“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."
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, according to DPE.
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, the statement added.
Imagine if Dubai had never found oil, never had a visionary leader, never become anything other than the pearl trading port is used to be. This would be the GDP, plus some entrepot income. Makes you think, doesn't it.