The UAE’s relationship with pearls began long before the discovery of oil, when pearl diving was the mainstay of the local economy, and the demand for the prestigious Arabian pearls were in demand all over the world.
The regional pearl industry has seen significant growth over the past few years and research indicates an emerging marketplace with strong growth potential in both Dubai and the surrounding Middle Eastern markets.
The region’s traditional focus on gold and subsequent demand for diamonds has gradually translated into an appreciation and desire for pearls and coloured gemstones, and as a result, the burgeoning jewellery retail sector now caters to the wider tastes of the region’s affluent residential and international tourist base.
Trade of natural pearls in Dubai has witnessed a ten-fold monetary growth in recent years, driven by imports through Australia and India, in addition to re-exports to new markets including Bahrain, Hong Kong and Switzerland. The cultured pearl trade in Dubai has been driven through imports from Australia, China and Hong Kong, along with re-exports to a variety of diverse markets such as Japan, Lebanon, Switzerland and Hong Kong and Australia.