Dubai, Tel Aviv to Boost Diamond Trade as UAE-Israel Links Grow

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Dubai and Tel Aviv, two of the world’s biggest diamond-trading hubs, agreed to share expertise, open reciprocal offices and promote regional trade in the precious stones.

The United Arab Emirates’ Dubai Diamond Exchange will cooperate with the Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv, the Dubai government’s commodities authority DMCC said in a statement. The deal follows anagreement between the UAE and Israel to work toward establishing normal relations, which the countries signed in Washington D.C. on Sept. 15.

“This agreement paves the way for further collaboration across a range of commodities,” Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, said Thursday in the statement.

Rough and polished diamonds valued at 13.2 billion dirhams ($3.6 billion) were traded last year in Dubai, the UAE’s biggest city and commercial center, according to the DMCC. Under their agreement, the Israeli exchange will open a representative office in the building that houses Dubai’s exchange, which in turn will open a sales office in IDE’s headquarters at Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv.

The UAE and Israel are forging commercial links on a broad front. Dubai port operator DP World said Wednesday it wouldbid jointly with Israel Shipyards Industries Ltd. to take over Israel’s Haifa Port, which the government is privatizing. The biggest banks in Dubai and the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi have also signed cooperation pacts with their Israeli counterparts.

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