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DMCC and DDE Host De Beers delegation

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DMCC and Dubai Diamond Exchange host De Beers delegation

Philip Mellier, CEO, and Varda Shine, Executive Vice President, accompany senior executives from De Beers to discuss DDE and Dubai’s role in the New Silk Route for diamond trade


The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), today hosted senior executives from De Beers at Almas Tower, headquarters of the DDE. The delegation included Philip Mellier, CEO; Varda Shine, Executive Vice President; Mahiar Borhanjoo, Senior Vice President, and Nigel Simson, Senior Vice President.


During the visit, the parties primarily discussed the major opportunities De Beers’ first ever ‘sight’ (sale) in Gaborone, Botswana, will present to the DDE and Dubai as a distribution and trading centre for rough diamonds.

Positioned in Dubai between producing countries in Africa and cutting centres in South Asia and the Far East, the DDE is expected to realise a dramatic upsurge in the trade of rough diamonds through its exchange. The relocation of De Beers aggregation, sales and marketing departments - Diamond Trading Centre (DTC) - to Gaborone will see at least US$ 6 billion of rough diamonds passing through the Botswana Diamond Centre, the majority being traded directly through Dubai.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC, said:

“The global diamond trade is continually evolving and Dubai continues to play the central role in this evolution by creating the ideal marketplace for diamantaires to trade with confidence.

Today Dubai is one of the top three diamond trading centres in the world and DMCC has driven this growth by providing global companies like De Beers with the infrastructure and appropriate platforms to facilitate trade between producing countries in Africa and cutting centres in Asia.

The relocation of the DTC from the UK to Africa further signals the inevitable shift in the flow of trade from North to South and West to East. At DMCC we have been preparing for this shift and are more than ready to take on the opportunities this presents.”

In September 2011, through their joint-venture partnership ‘Debswana’, De Beers and the Botswana government signed a 10-year sales contract whereby De Beers committed to relocate the DTC to Gaborone by the end of 2013. There are ten sights a year, during which 80 diamantaires will make the trip to Gaborone. The first sight is due to take place in November 2013.

Peter Meeus, Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange, commented:

“As the key distribution and trading partner for Debswana, the DDE has been engaged in direct talks with De Beers and sight-holders to ensure that we are providing the services and products required to absorb the US$ 6 billion of rough diamond sales that has now shifted from London to Gaborone.

The relocation of DTC is a real victory for Botswana and is a clear statement to the industry that a major transition is taking place and producing countries in Africa are now in the driving seat.”

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