ICA Congress Has Record Attendance

Curious to learn more about the thriving business metropolis in the desert that is Dubai, a record number of members from the International Colored Gemstone Association and invited guests from the trade came to this desert oasis for the group’s 12th biennial Congress.

From networking opportunities to educational sessions, this year’s event was more than a success, said Barbara Lipatapanlop, ICA executive director. The synergy between Congress hosts, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group (DG&JG) will live long after attendees leave. The DG&JG and ICA intend to cooperate on future educational and promotional activities for colored stones in the region.

The DG&JG spent over $75 million to position Dubai as the most favored destination for fine jewelry. “The region’s affinity to gold and jewelry is well known,” said Chandu D. Siroya, vice chairman of the DG&JG. “The residents of the UAE have a strong liking for colors and colored stones, but the potential of this region for the colored gemstone industry has not been highlighted much in the past. But, with initiatives like the annual City of Gold Conference organized by the DG&JG, and industry projects by the DMCC, this is surely changing for the better.”

It was during the fourth annual Dubai City of Gold Conference last year that the DG&JG began looking at the prospect of the colored gemstone market in the UAE and the region. “This was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the industry,” said Siroya. “I believe it helped in creating more awareness of the region’s potential.” This interest was further augmented by the visit of ICA President Joseph Menzie, who spoke at Dubai City of Gold Conference in April this year about building consumer confidence in colored gemstones.

Today, the colored gemstone market is rapidly growing in this region and the DMCC has been very active in initiating new projects like the Dubai Gems Club, which focuses on all issues related to the colored gemstones industry, pearls, and also studded jewelry. “This is aimed at raising the profile of these sectors and bringing them on par with the gold and diamond trade,” said Siroya. Dubai has the total market size of $3 billion in jewelry where the annual turnover in gold jewelry is about 106 tons and $800 million in diamond jewelry.

Siroya sees no reason why Dubai cannot extend this growth rate to colored gemstones, too. “I cannot help saying that given the right focus, and with the active support of the government of Dubai, we, in the next five years, will be the largest colored gemstone market in the world.”