De Beers to Shut Dubai Auction Base

Gaborone: De Beers will close its auction-sales office in Dubai due to declining demand from local companies, the miner has announced, according to a report published in Rapaport News.

Operations will cease on July 31, meaning De Beers will no longer display rough diamonds there from the year’s sixth sales cycle onward, the company told clients this week in a letter obtained by Rapaport News.

The global rough-auctions business has shifted focus to Mumbai since the establishment of a special notified zone (SNZ) in the Bharat Diamond Bourse in 2015. Before then, many traders in India would travel to Dubai to source rough.

“Our ability to meet Indian-based customer needs…through the SNZ over the last year and a half or so has been a great success, and we continue to see significant opportunities in India,” a De Beers spokesperson said Thursday.

“However, this has carried the consequence of steadily diminishing demand from Dubai-based businesses over that period to the point where a business case for a permanent Dubai presence no longer makes sense for us,” he added.

Customers whose business with De Beers is currently managed through Dubai will receive new account managers in Mumbai. Meanwhile, potential buyers will be able to view diamonds at the SNZ in Mumbai or at De Beers’ other offices in Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and New York.

De Beers is working to find alternative employment for the two members of the account-management team in Dubai. The company — which set up the base in 2011 — will still have a presence in the emirate through representatives of Global Sightholder Sales, De Beers’ contract-sales operation.