The lab will be based out of two floors in Uptown Tower. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the foremost authority on diamonds, coloured stones, and pearls, will set up a laboratory in Dubai’s DMCC, the free zone announced on Tuesday.

The lab, set to open in mid-2023, will be based out of two floors in Uptown Tower as part of a nine-year deal. It will also create 500 new jobs in the business district.

Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of DMCC, said: “We are immensely proud to be hosting GIA in DMCC’s Uptown Tower, Dubai. Representing a truly world-leading commercial, residential and retail offering, Uptown Tower has commanded significant interest from international and local businesses, as shown by the substantial office space pre-leased so far. Adding the GIA to our business district further solidifies and forges our strategy of building an interconnected business community that supports and encourages global trade.”

The establishment of the laboratory, spread across 41,000 sq. ft, reaffirms Dubai’s status as a leading hub for the global diamond industry, with the emirate significantly accelerating its diamond trade growth over recent years. The UAE recorded $11 billion worth of rough and polished diamond trade in Q1 this year, a 36 per cent year-on-year increase.

The UAE is currently the world’s largest rough diamond trading hub and is quickly closing in on the market leader for polished stones as well. GIA’s new laboratory is expected to support growth in this important polished diamond segment.

Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer, said: “The growing importance of Dubai as a diamond centre and its outstanding infrastructure make the DMCC an excellent choice for a significant expansion of GIA’s capacity.”

“Dubai’s proximity to the important diamond manufacturing and producing centres, in addition to efficient transportation links to global diamond markets, will help support our clients and, very importantly, extend our important consumer protection mission.”