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Tue 28 Oct 2008 12:16 PM

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Financial crisis spurs glittering success

Companies keen to explore new markets amidst economic downturns have propelled success for jewellery summit.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) today claimed it has received an enthusiastic response to the inaugural Middle East-China Diamond and Jewellery Summit (MECDJS).More than 500 diamond traders and retailers have confirmed their participation, set to take place at Dubai's Atlantis Hotel from November 8 to 9.

The summit has witnessed confirmed attendance from key diamond trade hubs around the world, including 70 Chinese companies representing the Far East, more than 150 delegates from Europe and India, and more than 250 from the Middle East.

According to Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman for DMCC (pictured, above), the global financial crisis has spurred companies to explore new markets and opportunities, with a shift towards emerging economies in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

"In this rapidly changing business environment, DMCC aims to further consolidate Dubai's role as the gateway to the significant emerging markets worldwide. The MECDJ Summit has been launched with this objective in mind," he said.

The summit will focus on the consumer markets of the 21st century, and aims to enhance trade relationships across the entire value chain of the diamond and jewellery industry between the Middle East and China.

The summit builds on the visit to China by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and reinforces ongoing efforts to further strengthen trade relations between both countries.

Dubai's rough diamond trade alone witnessed 32% growth in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 2007, while the polished diamond trade reached US $2.7 billion. The Chinese jewellery industry has also achieved record sales in 2007, with growth of 11% reaching over US$26 billion.

Peter Meeus, executive director, Diamond Division, DMCC, said China and the Middle East have witnessed phenomenal growth in the level of diamond trading, while some of other markets have witnessed stagnation.

"This is reflected in the exponential increase of polished diamond imports to Dubai by 69% in the first quarter of this year. By focusing on these new consumer markets, the summit will set the right tone in reaffirming the industry's shift towards emerging economies," he commented.

The two-day summit will feature panel discussions by leading local and international retailers such as Damas International, Joy Alukkas, Chow Tai Fook, Chow Sang Sang and Luk Fook. Top jewellery brands, including Roberto Coin, Mouawad and Altinbas, have also confirmed their participation at the summit.

On the sidelines of the conference, a gala dinner featuring a jewellery fashion show by leading regional brands such as Damas International, Dhamani Jewels and Joy Allukas will be held.

The night's highlight includes an award ceremony in recognition of well-known personalities of the diamond industry. In addition, internationally renowned auction house Christie's will conduct the auction of the Jumeirah Palm Grand Masterpiece, a unique jewellery piece designed by renowned Italian jeweller Roberto Coin as an iconic representation of the Middle East China Diamond and Jewellery Summit.

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