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Renewed Consumer Excitement for Diamonds

The New Jeweller International bureau in this exclusive with Ravi Bhansali, Managing Director - Rosy Blue NV gets to know about the importance of Dubai as an important trade centre for the global supply chain. In this interview he also talks about the Dubai Diamond Conference and the growth of Lab grown diamonds. Excerpts:

Rosy Blue has been an important supplier in the Diamond Value chain for decades and has established business in Dubai as well? What is your opinion on Dubai as an important catalyst for International Diamond trade especially now that Dubai offers a global mix of Diamond buyers including from Israel?

Dubai has clearly established itself as one of the leading global diamond hubs. The city is open for business, and with its infrastructure, location, connectivity, support from financial players, and now recently having normalised relations with Israel, it has all the ingredients needed to maintain a meaningful position within the global diamond trade.

The Dubai Diamond Conference is an important conference for the International Diamond trade members. What is the significance of this year's conference to you, especially the subjects being 'Future of Diamonds'?

A. The Future of Diamonds is certainly the question on all our minds. Looking back at the few years before the pandemic started, the industry had seen more than its fair share of challenges. We faced uncertain consumer demand, erosion of profitability, a few bad apples unfairly tarnished our industry, and there was this general sense of concern within the trade. However, there has been a positive shift in attitudes towards our product and industry. There is renewed excitement for diamonds from consumers. Key luxury brands are embracing new ways to unlock aspirational values for diamonds, and placing them at the core of their growth strategies. Subsequently, players within the trade, from miners down to jewellers have enjoyed robust growth and returns. The industry's financial partners have had their confidence restored. Now is the perfect time to discuss the Future of Diamonds. And of course, the subject of Lab- Grown diamonds is one worth discussing as it continues to grow as a category in certain key markets.

Some of the globally acclaimed tendering and auction companies are based in Dubai supporting the trade in Dubai Diamond Exchange. What is your take on the infrastructure offered within DMCC and Dubai Diamond Exchange and please add on the importance of tendering companies pertaining to the Dubai Diamond sector?

Today's diamond dealer has to be a global player, regardless of company size. For Rosy Blue, between Antwerp and Dubai, we have 2 cities that offer buyers fantastic infrastructure, and a transparent and sustainable chance to bid for diamonds. This is of course on top of our contractual supplies and tenders and sales held in producer nations.

Lab Grown Diamonds are making a mark in Dubai as well. What according to you would be the advantages and challenges that the Dubai Diamond trade would face with the growing importance of Lab grown stones?

There is a philosophy that is shared by all long-term thinkers of our industry: our reputation is our greatest asset. Guided by this underlying philosophy, the companies that have entered the LGD space have done so without creating risk, confusion, or any other ethical issues for industry stakeholders. Everyone is keenly aware that in order for our industry to thrive, there needs to be clarity and transparency towards all stakeholders and partners of the trade, and especially towards consumers. Like other leading diamond hubs, I believe Dubai is already able to support the trade of both products, supporting this very same philosophy and ensuring clarity towards all industry stakeholders.

Tell us about the expansion plans of Rosy Blue in the Dubai Diamond sector. How do the GCC and North African markets look for you based in Dubai?

The role Dubai plays for us is Three fold. Firstly, it has proven to be a great rough diamond sourcing base. Between Antwerp and Dubai, we can source the vast majority of our noncontractual supplies. Secondly, Dubai has become a vital financial centre for the natural diamond trade, with partners like NBF who have become a leading lender to the trade. And lastly but certainly not least, Dubai has proven to be a great marketing centre for our polished diamonds, primarily for the GCC region, which obviously has immense wealth and spending power. Dubai also promises to be a great base of operation for Africa, as the continent's wealth and consumption power will be unlocked in the coming years.

Lastly, can you throw light on the Diamond Jewellery business of Rosy Blue in Dubai and the GCC region? What is your strategy for Diamond Jewellery?

We are not new to this space, and neither is Dubai. The relationship between Dubai and jewellery goes back generations now. The concept of jewellery, both as a means of celebration and multi-generational family asset, is deeply embedded in the cultures of the GCC. This continues to evolve and grow. Rosy Blue has long-standing relationships with a great set of clients in this region, and we look forward to growth with our partners in this market.