Dubai Pearl Forum Stresses Opportunity

Regional and international pearl experts from 20 countries will come together for the inaugural World Pearl Forum, being held Feb. 17-18 at the Atlantis hotel, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

Hosted by the Dubai Pearl Exchange, a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the forum seeks to harness the experience of more than 25 experts from across the globe at a single forum, to discuss the collective growth strategy for pearls in view of the issues, latest initiatives and developments that affect the global pearl trade.

“Taking place at an opportune time and set against the realities of the current global financial crisis, the World Pearl Forum will enable the pearl industry to collaborate and discuss the many opportunities for marketing this extraordinary gem,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC. “Following the return of pearls on the fashion scene and the recent expansion of the cultured pearl industry, this is the ideal time to conceive collective growth strategies for the global pearl industry and plan ahead for the long term.”

“Dubai’s strategic position as the gateway to the growing markets of the Middle East and India, gives it a competitive edge that needs to be leveraged by global and regional pearl traders to grow the pearl market further,” said Gaiti Rabbani, executive director, Coloured Stones and Pearls, DMCC, referring to the recently released Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study (seventh edition).

The study carried out by Bain and Company has found that despite the worldwide luxury goods market being likely to feel the effects of the global downturn over the next year, there is long-term optimism as new luxury markets are projected to surge as a result of spending on luxury goods over the next five years by high net worth individuals in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, China, and India.

“With more subtle choices in jewelry becoming the norm there is continuing demand for pearls as an understated accessory,” said Tawfique Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and Chairman, DAMAS. “We’re seeing this demand reflected in the display windows of almost every jewelry retailer in the region. Demonstrating the demand for pearls, jewelers from Dubai’s US $2 billion retail sector are planning to access the World Pearl Forum to discuss how to effectively promote pearls in their product mix.”

The World Pearl Forum is being held under the patronage of princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The event will address several key topics including a heritage session hosted by Dubai Convention Bureau giving those interested in the world of jewelry and pearls an insight into the Gulf’s rich history as a pearl trading hub, long before the UAE became known as an oil producing region. Delegates will hear how some of the finest pearls in the world were once harvested from the waters of the Arabian Gulf and how Dubai can become a pearl leading capital once again.