ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s trade in pearl, gemstones and precious metals surged 66 percent to AED15.4 billion in 2016, compared to AED9.25 billion in 2015, according to the Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi, SCAD. The growth in the non-oil trade movement across the emirate’s onshore, offshore and air entry points has been attributed by SCAD to a growing increase in local and foreign demand that led to a considerable rise in non-oil exports and re-exports, including pearls and gemstones. AED6.565 billion worth of gemstones, pearl and precious metals re-exports were recorded in 2016 against AD2.94 billion in 2015.
Analysts expect continued growth in this type of trade, affirming that the UAE has turned to be a major hub for pearl, gemstones and precious metals trade over the past five years. According to SCAD statistics, pearl, gemstones and precious metals exports hit AED3.4 billion in 2016, a 1.5 percent increase from AED3.35 billion in 2015, with the imports valued at AED5.42 billion in 2016, a 83 percent up from AED2.95 billion in 2015. The pearl, gemstones and precious metals trade claims 5 percent of the emirate’s non-oil trade volume, which totalled around AED309 billion in 2016.