Dubai, Jewelry market of UAE is worth $6.13 billion, second biggest in the region after Saudi Arabia. The region represents 14 percent of the global jewellery market of $146 billion.
Saudi Arabia accounts for 45 percent of the $20.5 billion Middle East jewellery trade, while the UAE has a 30 percent share.
Tawfiq Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, while attending an industry conference in Dubai on April 22, said, "Our retail industry is the third-biggest contributor to the GCC economy after construction and oil and gas. It contributes 10 per cent to non-oil gross domestic product and is expected to grow by a compound annual rate of 15-20 percent".
He said the jewellery industry could be a major contributor to national wealth and job creation. The sector employs 8,000 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) people and is supposed to grow by another 10 percent by 2011.At 30 grammes, Dubai has the highest per capita gold consumption in the region.
According to Colin Griffith, chairman of Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, the emirate's imports represent 15 per cent of the world's total gold demand. Its bullion imports account for 40 per cent of the Middle East's total.
In 2006, Dubai imported 489 tons of gold while export increased by 23 percent to 274 tons.