Dubai unveils ‘Pearls of Arabia’ Project

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre on Monday unveiled plans for “Pearls of Arabia,” a project that will feature offshore entertainment, retail, and educational components. This project is the first stage of Dubai’s plan of reestablishing the emirate as a center for the global pearl trade.
 
In association with Paspaley Pearling Co. PTY Ltd, DMCC will establish a 6,000-square-meter “Experience Centre” at The World, a housing and business development of man-made islands in the shape of a world map off the coast of Dubai. The new pearl center will be built in Antarctica.

The project will include a pearl-themed cultural heritage centre, a performing arts theatre, an exhibition gallery, and a themed restaurant alongside boutiques inviting participation from the leading international names in the pearl industry. Visitors will travel to this destination by water ferries—transporting them across the manmade archipelago of 300 islands and into the region’s storied past. The facility is expected to be complete by the end of 2010.

“Less than a century ago, pearling was the very lifeblood of Arabia, accounting for some 80,000 jobs in the UAE alone and representing 95 percent of the country’s total revenues,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC. “Pearls of Arabia presents age-old wisdom in a modern and contemporary fashion to revive the region’s historic legacy for the benefit of future generations.”

DMCC’s objective is to develop the global and regional pearl market with specific focus on trading, grading, trade events, and auctions alongside trade and consumer education. The Pearls of Arabia project represents a component of Dubai’s strategy. The Dubai Pearl Exchange creates important opportunities for the international pearl trade by providing an exclusive trading platform and a facilitated free-trade environment for regional and international pearl traders.

DMCC also will investigate the introduction of a uniform certification for pearls, based on globally recognized quality parameters. This certification would be developed in conjunction with leading gem certification bodies to generate increased confidence in the pearl trade. Certificates issued from the emirate would have the official imprimatur of the Dubai Government.


Left to right: Nicholas Paspaley, executive chairman, Paspaley Pearling Co. PTY Ltd; Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC; and Gaiti Rabbani, executive director, Coloured Stones and Pearls, DMCC. During the unveiling of Pearls of Arabia at The World.