UAE's first-quarter diamond trade rises 36% to $11bn

An 80% increase in the traded value of polished diamonds underpinned the quarterly performance

Rough and polished diamonds worth $11 billion were traded in the UAE in the first three months of this year. Photo: DMCC
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The UAE, the world's top trading hub for rough diamonds, recorded a 36 per cent annual increase in the value of rough and polished diamonds in the first three months of 2022.

The growth was underpinned by an 80 per cent increase in the value of the polished diamond traded in the UAE, reaching $4 billion for the three months to the end of March, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, home to the Dubai Diamond Exchange, said in a statement on Friday.

“Dubai’s diamond industry is truly flourishing across the board,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief executive of the DMCC.

Last year, the UAE became the biggest trading hub for rough diamonds in the world, overtaking Belgium, the DMCC said in February last year.

The country's non-oil foreign trade reached a record Dh499.7bn ($136bn) in the first quarter of this year as the Arab world’s second-largest economy forges ahead with efforts to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons.

The UAE and Israel, which last month signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, have agreed on investments in areas including the diamond industry.

In 2020, the Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Israel Diamond Exchange agreed to promote bilateral trading opportunities and work together on initiatives to grow regional trade, such as conferences and exhibitions.

Dubai operates direct flights to other diamond hubs around the world, including Israel, mining countries in Africa and manufacturing centres in India, directly connecting the entire diamond supply chain.

The emirate is also home to the two Kimberly Process offices in the UAE, making it the only entry point for rough diamonds in the country.

The Kimberly Process, set up in 2003, is an 85-nation body that aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds in the global trade. Participants include all major rough diamond producing, exporting and importing countries.

The diamond industry, through the World Diamond Council and civil society groups, is also a part of the Kimberly Process.

In line with its mandate to attract, enable and drive new trade flows through Dubai, the DMCC has played a major role in establishing the emirate as a global hub for the diamond trade.

The DMCC’s Dubai Diamond Exchange is the largest diamond-tending facility in the world and is home to more than 1,150 diamond companies.

Updated: June 10, 2022, 2:21 PM