Dubai Dispatch

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Dubai has emerged as a critical market for jewelry and watches. The city, which has had a long love affair with yellow gold, is learning to love c U ^ ^ d s and timepieces. .coni'I lune2OO7K:k I 331

DUBAI DISPATCH

ubai, the City of Gold—its name resonates with the precious metal. Though affluent Arabs increasingly favor diamonds, gold hasn't lost its luster yet in the United Arab Emirates whose citizens show a great penchant for it. According to the World Gold Council's Dubai office, gold sales in the first quarter of 2006 increased to 2.1 billion UAE dirhams compared with 1.9 billion dirhams in the same period in the previous year. Dubai's booming gold and jewelry market has also been one of the major factors contributing to the exponential growth of tourism in the Emirates. stones is on the rise, with the retail value of diamond sets sold in the Gulf increasing by over $200 million since 2001. The most popular shape in diamonds is still the round brilliant cut, with color grades ranging from colorless to near colorless. Yellow and brown diamonds are also becoming popular, thanks to the grading certificates usually given with the stones. With this in view. Diamond Trading Company, the world's leading supplier of natural diamonds, launched Rayana, a concept in high-end diamond jewelry design created specif"ically for women in The vast majority of Siroya's custom- the Middle East. The concept of Rayana is ers are Indians who favor 22k gold, rather based on extensive consumer research that than Arabs wbo traditionally opt for 21 k. reveals that Arab women want to accentuate "The emotional attributes and benefits of the abundance of diamonds in their jewgold, as well as its practical or financial elry pieces. Thus, Rayana sets contain more benefits today complement the roles of diamonds and less gold. women around the world," explains Moaz Internationally, the Middle East is one of Barakat, managing director. World Gold...
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