The Dubai Diamond Conference, which opened this morning at the Almas Conference Centre, Almas Tower, DMCC, was attended by more than 500 delegates who heard H.E. Dr Albanna highlight the increasing importance of economic and diplomatic ties between the UAE and the nations of Africa.
Among the key points discussed were the $18bn of non-oil trade between the U.A.E. and Sub Saharan Africa; The UAE’s membership of the African Union; and the growing diamond trade.
In keeping with H.E. Dr Albanna’s speech, the two-day Diamond Conference brought together international leaders of the diamond industry from a host of African ministers and traders, to financiers and world-renowned jewelers.
The programme will draw upon the delegates’ vast range of experience and perspective to fuel dynamic discussions and stimulate innovation and growth in the diamond industry in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of the DMCC, highlighted the growth in the Dubai diamond trade from around $5m at the DMCC’s inception in 2002 to a value of $30bn today.
Mr. Bin Sulayem said: “We are pleased to welcome so many important Ministers from Africa, diamantaires, traders and experts to the Dubai Diamond Conference to discuss the growing importance of the trading routes between Africa, Dubai and Asia. This two day event is the highlight of the global diamond calendar, which befits Dubai’s position among the top three diamond centres in the world.”
The Conference includes a series of five panel discussions: Retail in Challenging Markets, Africa First, Ethical Trade, Synthetics, and Diamond Financing.
Speakers at the conference include: Herman Van Rompuy, Former EU President; His Excellency Ahmed A.R. Albanna, Director of African Affairs, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa; Hon. Prof. Dr. Francisco Queiroz, Minister of Geology and Mines of the Republic of Angola; Hon. Walter K. Chidakwa, Minister of Mines and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President of De Beers Sightholder Sales; Eng. Carlos Sumbula, CEO of Endiama; Vishal Mehta, CEO of Dimexon; Andrey Polyakov, Executive Vice President of Alrosa; Dr. Robert Mhlanga, Chairman of Mbada Diamonds; Mr. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC; Mr. Peter Meeus, Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE); Ms. Maryam Al Hashemi, Director of the UAE Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.