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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates in 2021 became the top trading hub for rough diamonds, overtaking Belgium, the head of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), home to the Dubai Diamond Exchange, said on Monday.

Over $22.8 billion of rough diamonds were traded through the Gulf state in 2021, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DMCC CEO and executive chairman said, adding that the polished diamond sector continues to grow.

Since 2015, the UAE’s rough diamond trade has grown by 76%. The UAE’s total diamond trade grew 83% between 2020 and 2021, a statement from the DMCC CEO’s office said.

Adding to trade through Dubai has been the opening up of diplomatic and trading ties with Israel, the Middle East’s second-largest diamond centre, since relations were normalised in 2020.

DMCC now has an office in the Israeli Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Tel Aviv, and the IDE has an office in the Dubai Diamond Exchange.

Dubai, home to the world’s busiest international airport, has grown its diamond industry by leveraging its proximity to Africa, where many diamonds are mined, and India, where 90% of the world’s diamonds are polished.

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