Dubai's diamond trade, mainly driven by India, Belgium and Hong Kong, in value terms fell by 13 per cent to $18bn in 2009, due to lower rates of the precious stone globally, the Dubai Diamond Exchange has said.

According to, in volume terms, the trade rose by 22 per cent to 182 million carats in 2009 compared to the previous year's figure.

According to the figures from the Dubai World Statistics Department, a total of 80 million carats of polished diamonds were traded through the emirate in 2009, increasing by more than 150 per cent from 2008 when 32 million carats were traded, it said.

Rough diamond trade increased marginally by a little over three per cent and reached 97 million carats in comparison to 94 million carats in 2008. Polished diamonds imports to the emirate grew by nearly five per cent during 2009, to reach $6.9bn from $6.6bn during the same period in 2008.

Exports in the same period were up 30 per cent from $5.4bn to $7bn. DDE is a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority. 'Globally, the consumption of luxury goods has been impacted due to the prevailing economic challenges. Despite such tough market conditions, these encouraging trade figures reflect the strong trade and consumer market in the region.

'The trend underlines the Middle East's growing significance as a flourishing diamond consumer market, and more importantly, Dubai's established role as the trade hub through which this market can be accessed,' said Executive Chairman, DMCCA, Mr. Ahmed bin Sulayem.

'Dubai's strategic location continues to be a significant advantage to leverage the trade in global rough and polished diamonds. We look forward with a great degree of optimism as we expect the trade to rebound strongly with consumers returning to purchasing diamonds on a larger scale than compared to last year,' he added.