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Dubai aims for half the world’s gold - New commodities center will focus on production, trade

Dubai is aiming to converge 50 percent of the world’s precious metals and stones production and trade at the Dubai Metals and Commodities Center, according to DMCC chairman Tawfic Abdullah.

“The Middle East, with a 26.5 percent market share, is the biggest consumer of gold and diamonds in the world,” said Abdullah, during a news conference at the Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut on Tuesday.

“The entire Eastern regions of the globe constitute 76 percent of the world market.” The DMCC delegation was visiting Beirut to promote the benefits of setting up operations in the 300-hectare project, which was conceived in 2002. The facility is a zone built for the sole purpose of offering residents a full market infrastructure for its core segments of gold, diamonds, precious metals, colored stones and commodities.

According to Abdullah, the DMCC is the only institution in the United Arab Emirates to offer complete ownership of business premises, as well as 100-percent ownership of the business itself. Businesses also enjoy a 50-year exemption from personal, corporate and income taxes and benefit from exemptions of customs duties.

Other unique features include the freedom to repatriate both capital and profits, and the benefits of having access to gold-trading facilities, storage hallmarking and essaying. A dedicated package for delivery facilities and access to several on-site gold refineries is also offered.

“The 56-story Almas (Diamond) Tower, scheduled for completion in 2005, will be the focal point of the project,” said Abdullah. “It will host the gold, diamond and commodities exchanges and form the base of all support facilities for local and international companies.

Demonstrating their commitment to provide a fully supportive market infrastructure, DMCC recently revealed plans to launch a system of commodity warehouse receipts, the Dubai Commodity Receipts, starting from early 2004.

Statistics show that Dubai imported some 300 tons of gold in 2002. The emirate has over 6,000 retail gold outlets, with the Dubai Duty Free selling over four tons of gold, worth $4.2 million, in 2002.

Beirut,10 06 2003
Ara Alain Arzoumanian
The Daily Star
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