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Sat 21 May 2011 12:10 PM

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Dubai's diamond trade sees massive surge

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre CEO says emirate is now fourth largest trading centre in world

Dubai's diamond trade sees massive surge

The value of the diamond trade in Dubai has witnessed a massive surge in the last six years and is currently valued at around $35bn, according to the CEO of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

“Before DMCC was created, the value of the diamond trade through Dubai was around $5m and last year we saw the value of trade at $35bn,” Malcolm Wall Morris, CEO of the DMCC told Arabian Business.

With around 550 diamond companies registered with the DMCC, the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) was established in 2004.

The surge in trading has seen the emirate grow from a small regional operation to the fourth largest diamond trading centre in the world and joins the ranks of leading diamond centres such as Antwerp, New York and Mumbai, which are the world’s top diamond trading centres.

Last year, the DDE saw total diamond trade volumes for the year reach 268.7 million carats, up by 50 percent from 178.1 million, while the value doubled from $17.9bn to $35.1bn.

"To facilitate the import and export of over $35bn of diamonds through Dubai is an amazing achievement, especially under the challenging economic environment," said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of DMCC.

Polished diamond imports during 2010 rose 88 percent to 90 million carats ($13.3bn) and polished diamond exports rose 128 percent to 73.6 million carats ($14.6bn).

Dubai also recorded a 100 percent increase in the volume of total polished diamonds traded, reaching 163.8 million carats.

Dubai's diamond trade was mainly driven by India, Belgium, Hong Kong and Switzerland which were the top trading partners, with growing trade emerging from new markets such as Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rough diamond imports rose by up to 13 percent during the year recording 50.4 million carats and exports by three percent at 54.7 million carats.

The value of rough diamonds imported rose 83 percent to $3.3bn and rough diamonds exported by 81 percent to $3.8bn.

Diamonds currently represent over 50 percent of the jewellery trade in Dubai.

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