06 November 2008

Dubai coloured stones market shows strong growth potential

The coloured stones market is set to expand, faster than other jewellery categories in the next five years, according to a new survey released by the Dubai Gems Club (DGC), a subsidiary of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). The findings of the survey were released at the ICA International Gem Fair 2008, the region’s first dedicated coloured stones trade show, being held in Dubai.

The research, a first for the region’s coloured stones industry, was commissioned by the DGC and carried out by the US-based Jewelry Industry Research Institute and UAE-based BUZ Consulting.

Key research findings reveal that of the projected jewellery sales mix over the next three years, coloured stones will account for 26 per cent of total jewellery sales in Dubai by 2011. Whilst historical sales data is not recorded, it is estimated that coloured stones sales currently represent a small percentage of overall jewelry sales.

“The ready availability of statistics and market data have become critical in today’s information age, as they facilitate business leaders in making timely decisions that could impact the future of an organisation,” said Gaiti Rabbani, Executive Director, Coloured Stones and Pearls Division, DMCC. “Dubai has taken a proactive step through this new research commissioned by DMCC. This report will become a significant tool for existing jewellery businesses in Dubai and new entrants to the market. ”

Rabbani added: “The driver for the growing demand for coloured stones is today’s fashion conscious consumer, who seeks unique jewellery varieties. The versatility of coloured stones provides a great opportunity for designing exclusive jewellery pieces.”

On a global basis, the market for all gemstones stands at US$80 billion, representing 55 per cent of total global jewellery industry sales. The global gemstone market includes roughly US$10billion of coloured stones and US$70 billion of diamonds and diamond jewellery.

The survey also reveals that coloured stones trade is expected to grow at around six per cent annually by 2010, in comparison to the growth rate of diamonds, gold and all other forms of jewellery.

Kenneth Gassman, Founder & President of Jewelry Research Institute of America (JRIA), said: “The projections show that the coloured stones market will post exceptionally strong above-average growth over the next decade, both in Dubai and the Gulf region, as well as globally. Coloured stones jewellery demand is expected to surpass demand for other jewellery categories. Dubai is particularly well-positioned to take advantage of the increased trading requirements of this rapidly growing jewellery segment and further capitalize on the growing tourism market.”

In further findings, coloured gemstone dealers cited that rubies, sapphires and emeralds were the fastest selling coloured gemstones, comprising 44 per cent, 28 per cent and 24 per cent respectively of their gemstone inventory. Traders and consumers also highlighted their preference for oval shaped coloured stones set in 18 karat white and yellow gold.

The survey consisted of interviews with 50 traders as well as over 100 consumers comprising jewellery shoppers in Dubai. The survey was released at the ICA International Gem Fair Dubai 2008. This event, held under the patronage of DMCC, was organised by the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) and supported by the Middle East GemBureau.

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