• Emirates NBD to double its diamond financing book by 2025
  • Increased commitment to the diamond sector comes at critical period in global trade
  • Agreement to accelerate Dubai’s transformation into the world’s leading diamond trading hub
  • Growth of the diamond sector is key to national economic diversification strategy
  • Will support Dubai’s five-year plan to increase foreign trade to AED 2 trillion
Ahmed Al Qassim, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head, Corporate and Institutional Banking

Dubai: Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, has announced plans to increase financing available to the Dubai diamond industry and double its diamond financing book in the UAE by 2025. Emirates NBD has collaborated with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) on the project to leverage its expertise and experience in shaping the global diamond trade.

The collaboration is set to boost Dubai’s economic transformation into the world’s number one diamond trading hub and support the economic diversification strategy of the UAE. It further aligns with Dubai’s five-year plan to increase Dubai’s foreign trade to AED 2 trillion as the emirate strengthens its position as a global business hub.

DMCC enters the agreement to offer strategic advice and help promote Emirates NBD’s financial products to UAE diamantaires, especially more than 1000 registered members of its Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), home to the world’s largest diamond tender floor located in Almas Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai.

With this collaboration, Dubai diamond traders will benefit from increased financing opportunities, while accessing a trusted framework for all aspects of diamond trade through DMCC. This would include a globally accepted governance and trade practice framework, dispute resolution and access to new markets. 

In a span of just over 20 years, Dubai has transformed into the world’s second largest diamond trading center, with diamond trade in city growing significantly over the years, from USD 3.5 billion in 2003 to USD 17.5 billion in 2020. 

Ahmed Al Qassim, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head, Corporate and Institutional Banking, said, “We are delighted to join hands with DMCC on this significant initiative which will boost the UAE’s flourishing diamond industry. As a leading UAE bank, Emirates NBD is well-positioned to deliver trusted financial services to global diamond traders looking to leverage Dubai’s established infrastructure and business-friendly regulations to grow and expand their business. The collaboration is in line with our commitment to support industries critical to Dubai’s ongoing economic transformation as the emirate realizes its ambition to become the world’s leading diamond trading hub.” 

“Dubai’s current position as a global leader in both the gold and diamond markets is intrinsically tied to the UAE Cabinet’s decision to learn from the past mistakes of other global economies and reverse the five percent value added tax for investors at a wholesale level in May 2018. It is for this reason Dubai is close to becoming the world’s largest diamond hub, having significantly closed the gap with Antwerp for rough and polished trade volumes. Without this critical decision, Dubai wouldn’t even be in the conversation,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC and Chairman, Dubai Diamond Exchange.

“In addition, thanks to the efforts of banks such as Emirates NBD, Dubai is also making financial access easier for diamantaires, resulting in an exciting time for the international diamond trade. We are certain that the same success story can be replicated for related businesses such as colored gemstones and lab grown diamonds, which are currently non-existent, providing a similar level of support is granted,” he added.

About Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD (DFM: Emirates NBD) is a leading Banking Group in the MENAT region. As at 30th June 2021, total assets were AED 694 Billion, (equivalent to approx. USD 187 Billion). The acquisition of DenizBank represents a significant milestone for Emirates NBD with the Group expanding its presence to 13 countries, servicing over 14 million customers. The Group is ranked among the top 20 in the Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Regarded Companies, securing a leading spot among global brands. 

The Group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry with 94% of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The Group announced the creation of E20., a digital business bank for entrepreneurs and SMEs while Liv., the lifestyle digital bank for millennials continued to be the fastest growing retail proposition in the UAE. Emirates NBD was named ‘Best Bank in the Middle East’ and ‘UAE’s Best Bank’ in 2021 for a seventh consecutive year by Euromoney. In addition, Emirates NBD received the ‘Excellence in Leadership in the Middle East’ award, introduced in 2020 in light of the Covid-19 impact, as a recognition of its efforts in responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Emirates NBD ranked 5th in Forbes’ Top 100 companies in the Middle East for 2021. The Bank is ranked 87th in The Banker’s list of the World’s Top 1,000 Banks.  Emirates NBD was named ‘Bank of the Year – UAE 2020’ for the sixth year and ‘Bank of the Year – Middle East 2020’ for the third time by The Banker. In addition, Emirates NBD has been assessed as the ‘Strongest Bank in the UAE’ and ‘Fifth Strongest Bank in the Middle East’ by The Asian Banker 500 Largest and Strongest Banks Rankings.

The Group has operations in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Russia and Bahrain and representative offices in China and Indonesia with a total of 905 branches and 4,044 ATMs / SDMs. The Group has a large social media following, being the only bank in the Middle East ranked among the top 20 in the ‘Power 100 Social Media Rankings’, compiled by The Financial Brand for 2019. Emirates NBD is a major player in the UAE corporate segment and has strong Islamic banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management, global markets & treasury and brokerage operations.

Emirates NBD is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development and community initiatives, in close alignment with the UAE government’s strategies, including financial literacy and advocacy for inclusion of People with Disabilities under its #TogetherLimitless platform. The Group is recognised for the pioneering efforts in employee volunteering and corporate social responsibility by IMPACT2030, the corporate volunteering arm of the United Nations. Emirates NBD Group is a Premier Partner and the Official Banking Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai.