In November, lab-grown diamond company Diamond Foundry opened an office in the Almas Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which will serve as its international business headquarters.
The office will be staffed by Diamond Foundry vice president of global sales Toby Cruse, a former De Beers exec who joined the company in 2019.
The new office “enables us to have a team on the ground in one of the busiest diamond trading centers in the world,” Cruse said via email.
Cruse said Diamond Foundry set up shop in Dubai because it is “centrally located, has world-class business-friendly infrastructure and communications, and the leadership of the UAE and the DMCC [the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre] embrace technology and sustainability. They have been warmly receptive to Diamond Foundry and made setting up a simple and efficient process. There is a good pool of available talent and the location provides close links and easy access to key customers in Israel, India, and globally.”
He declined to answer exactly what the office will be doing, except that it will “encompass various activities.”
When asked, the company stressed that the new location will not be a buying office.
“We do not buy diamonds in Dubai or elsewhere,” says spokesperson Ye-Hui Goldenson. “We are a diamond producer so we only sell what we produce in our foundries, which are located in California and Washington.”
Cruse said he decided to leave De Beers after 20 years because “I felt the time was right to switch tack and had been keeping a close eye on innovation in the diamond industry for some time.”
Dubai’s diamond trading industry has been helped by the recent collaboration agreement the city signed with Israel, the result of the recent normalization of relations between that country and the UAE. In recent years, Dubai has also become home to several lab-grown diamond companies.
While many reputable companies have offices there, Dubai still has a mixed reputation in the diamond business and among nongovernmental organizations. The DMCC has called that unfair, pointing to its strengthened import and export controls.
Based in San Francisco, Diamond Foundry counts among its backers Obvious Ventures and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Top: from left: DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Diamond Foundry’s Toby Cruse, outside Diamond Foundry’s new headquarters (photo courtesy of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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