The world's largest diamond exchange in Dubai
Like so many other areas in Dubai, the diamond business is growing at rocket speed. And here is the world's largest diamond exchange.
"In the 1990s, Dubai did not even have a diamond industry," said Martin Leake - special advisor on gems at the Dubai Cargo Center (DMCC).
This is a free trade area established by the Dubai government and is also the place to manage the Dubai Diamond Exchange.
The world's largest diamond exchange in Dubai / ph: DMCC
In 2018, the value of diamond transactions in Dubai exceeded $ 25 billion, according to the DMCC.
Since being almost unnamed on the world map, the Dubai diamond industry now aims to occupy the throne of the world capital of Antwerp (Belgium).
The diamond industry in Antwerp was estimated at $ 46 billion in 2018.
Martin Leake said that this goal of Dubai is supported by low tax policy and convenient location.
Dubai is located among the major diamond-producing countries in Africa and the main trading markets for this commodity, such as India.
Another factor is the city's rapid development of commercial infrastructure, including the Dubai Diamond Exchange - the world's largest diamond exchange located at the Almas Tower near the Persian Gulf.
This floor features 41 diamond viewing tables with professional cameras and lighting equipment, private cabin and white crystal windows for accurate assessment of the color of the gemstones.
Through many improvements over the past few years, the exchange now accommodates more than 1,000 companies participating in the transaction.
This place has enough facilities for the diamond crafting process, for the operations of traders and an ethical mining inspection office.
Processing rough diamonds is a laborious process, but very profitable. "When diamonds are lifted off the ground, they are often sticky with oil, or rocks, so they need to be cleaned," Leake said.
The gemstone is then treated with an acid mixture, and heated in a dedicated oven.
Most will be shipped to India for cutting and polishing, except for the excellent pellets that will be processed on-site with modern technology, to add value.
"We also do 3D models," said Jan de Henau, director of Almas Diamond Services. Basically, Almas redraws the entire inner crack, and integrates the algorithm to estimate the highest value of the inner stones.
They also use new tools, like the waterjet cutter, to keep diamonds cool and in a stable state when cut.
"The value of this machine is $ 1 million. It sounds very expensive, but the profit you make from one or two cuts with a stone can be tens of millions of dollars," de Henau said.
DMCC aims to attract more companies to the diamond exchange, in order to increase pressure on Antwerp. Dubai now has a leading position.
However, Leake said: "The only position he wants to have is number one".