Rapaport News has obtained a letter from De Beers to its clients informing them that they will close its auction-sales office in Dubai due to declining demand from local companies. According to the letter, De Beers will terminate its Dubai rough auctions on July 31, meaning De Beers will no longer display rough diamonds there from the year’s sixth sales cycle onward. It appears that the creation of the a special notified zone (SNZ) in the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai in 2015 has made the operation of an rough diamond auction office in Dubai redundant, as most of the clients there are based in India and would only travel to Dubai for the auctions.
'We are continually looking at our Auction Sales operating footprint, aligning it with where we can best service our global customer base," a De Beers spokesman said this morning. "Indeed, our ability to meet Indian-based auction customer needs directly in-market 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. 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 Auction Sales presence no longer makes sense for us." De Beers started with viewings at the SNZ in October 2015. In addition to rough diamond viewings at the SNZ in Mumbai, De Beers will continue to hold viewings in Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and New York. Rapaport adds that De Beers will still have representatives of Global Sightholder Sales, De Beers’ contract-sales operation, located in Dubai.