Targeting markets across the Middle East and Africa will be a natural progression
Dubai: When it comes to selling jewellery to consumers, whether domestic or from overseas, Dubai’s built up a stellar standing that is unmatched. Now, it wants to do the same offering its finely crafted collections to business clients in overseas markets. And if it succeeds in breaking through into the B2B marketplace, that would be the platform to create a new round of growth for Dubai’s jewellery trade and manufacturing sectors.
The likely markets for offtake of Dubai’s jewellery would be Africa and the rest of the Middle East, the only difference is businesses there will be the buyers.
“There has never been a concerted effort in the past to explore Dubai’s chances in the jewellery B2B space... but we have now scripted a plan that would enable the industry here to do so within three years,” said Tawhid Abdullah, who recently took over as chairman of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group.
The first step will be by hosting the Vicenza Oro Dubai trade exhibition — the showpiece industry gathering with events in Italy, Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland — in Dubai during April.
“This is where connections have traditionally been made in the industry and Dubai’s jewellery trade now has a chance to show what it can offer,” said Abdullah. “Dubai can recreate what it has achieved in the consumer space in sales to business as well.”
According to Abdul Salam K.P., a member of the board at Gold and Jewellery Group, “There’s no reason why trade buyers in Africa or within the Middle East itself should continue to sourcing from London, Italy or Hong Kong their requirements of 18k, 21k, 22k gold collections as well as diamond jewellery and those set in precious and semi-precious stones. Dubai’s trade can very well offer all their needs — it’s only a question of creating awareness. It’s not far-fetched to expect that even Indian trader clients could source from here, though in smaller quantities.”
Abdullah also sees this as an opportunity to burnish Dubai’s credentials with its own jewellery design ethos.
“Bahraini and Kuwaiti design collections have been popular for some time, but Dubai’s been less so. The trade expects to make a big push creating the Dubai-branded designs and making sure they have their own strong following. It could be in 21k.
“If the trade sets its mind to it, this can be done. Others have done so from Dubai — 10 or 15 years, Saudi or Kuwait made abayas were all the fashion. But these days, Dubai designed abayas are the byword in making a fashion statement. With a similar sized effort, jewellery designers can make the Dubai collections just as popular in the future.”
Later this year, the Gold and Jewellery Group together with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will be hosting an industry event where the concept of ‘Made in UAE’ will be given a new impetus, according to Abdullah. “The ‘City of Gold’ imprint has been firmly planted in the consumer space — the logical extension of that would be to aim for the same status on the business side.”