Dubai and Israel diamond exchanges sign collaboration pact

Agreement 'unlocks huge potential' for both parties, says DMCC chairman

FILE PHOTO: Diamonds are pictured during an official presentation by diamond producer Alrosa in Moscow, Russia Ferbuary 13, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
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Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Israel Diamond Exchange signed an agreement on Thursday to develop closer working ties.

The two bourses have agreed to promote bilateral trading opportunities and partner on initiatives to grow regional trade, such as conferences, exhibitions and visits, they said in a statement on Thursday following an online signing ceremony.

“The strategic agreement signed between the Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Israel Diamond Exchange is an important one that unlocks huge potential for both parties," said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre – the free zone in which the exchange is based.

"This agreement will attract businesses to the emirate as well as boost the regional and international trade of this precious stone,” he added.

The UAE and Israel on Tuesday signed the Abraham Accord at the White House in Washington DC to normalise relations, facilitating the potential for more trade and investment in a number of sectors such as aviation, financial services, security, telecoms, technology and tourism.

Agreements have already been signed by UAE banks Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank with Israeli lenders, and by Dubai-based ports operator DP World with the co-owner of the Port of Eilat and Israel Shipyards. Abu Dhabi Investment Office also said it will open its first international office in Tel Aviv.

Dubai has rapidly built a presence in the industry, with the total value of rough and polished diamonds handled through the emirate climbing to Dh84bn last year, up from just Dh13.2bn in 2003. The Dubai Diamond Exchange also opened the world's biggest diamond trading floor in September last year at its headquarters in Almas Tower.

The Israel Diamond Exchange will open a representative office at the tower as part of the collaboration agreement and DMCC will open a sales office at IDE’s headquarters in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv.

“We are very excited to sign this strategic agreement with DMCC. Dubai, with its free zone and convenient business conditions, has become one of the most important diamond centres in the world," Yoram Dvash, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said.

"It is close to the major manufacturing centres, and the Asian diamond market," he added. "This agreement between our two world-class centres will be of enormous value to both sides."