Moves are being made to boost the coloured gems and precious stones sector, which is at an infant stage in the Middle East.
The International Col-oured Gemestones Association (ICA) intends to promote the trade through its newly formed ICA GemBureau, Middle East. The bureau will be located on the top floor of the Almas Tower, headquarters of the Dubai Diamond Exchange.
“The world market for coloured gemstones is $20 billion (Dh73.4bn) per year but the volume of business generated in the Middle East is negligible,” ICA President Andrew Cody told Emirates Business. “For the next 10 years the coloured gemstones business will have a bright future because it is part of the fashion industry. If you open any fashion magazine it is all colourful except for the precious stones section, which remains largely white.
“The coloured gemstones business will improve Dubai’s image as a jewellery and precious stone business hub. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to promote coloured gemstones in the Middle East.
The recent decision by the Government of Dubai to reduce customs duty on coloured gemsones is a welcome step.
“There are special shops and fashion retail chains selling coloured gemstones in Europe, America and Australia but they are not popular here. The government is keen to open up the market, which will grow with the fashion industry. China is a huge market for gemstones and the ICA has signed an agreement with the government there to promote the trade.”
The GemBureau was set up by the ICA – a New York-based non-profit trade organisation – and the DMCC to meet the requirements of association members and trade representatives.