‘New supply sources would make industry more attractive’
February 28 2014 12:17 AM

A dhow made of gold, diamonds and natural pearls at the Abida Jeweller’s stall at Alfardan Jewellery pavilion at Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition. PICTURE: Jayan Orma

By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter

The Middle East, in particular the Gulf region, has turned out to be the most important market for jewels since the turn of the millennium as its populace is fast becoming aware of the happenings and developments in the industry than most others, said a prominent UAE trader Iqbal H Chithiwala.
Chithiwala who had his beginning in the industry having worked with the Alfardan Jewellery for the decade between 1976 and ’86 is the managing director of Dubai-based Abida Jewellers, who has a stall at the Alfardan Jewellery pavilion at the ongoing Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE2014) at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
The entrepreneur who has a number of attractive collections in his kitty has displayed prominently among others a dhow, which is a combination of approximately 415 grams of gold and 190 carat of diamonds and pearls.
Designed by his own craftsmen at their facility in India, the piece is a beauty as well as a rarity.
“There is none as good as the Indian craftsmen as far as the cutting and polishing tasks are concerned and their artistry and creativity stand out brilliantly in the collections that I have brought for the expo,” said Chithiwala, who added that new sources are found across the world for the supply of stones these days.
Along with such traditional sources as Burma and Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Zambia are also fast emerging as major mining centres of diamonds in the last one decade or so.
“For that matter the entire region between mid-Africa running down to South Africa has been endowed with many areas rich in mines,” said the entrepreneur, while adding that the discovery of new sourcing areas would make competition more healthier, vibrant and interesting in coming days.
“Similarly, there are new discoveries of sapphire stones in the Swat area of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. However, for Ruby one needs to rely on Myanmar for all superior qualities coming to the market, he said.
The jeweller has no doubt that the industry as a whole is on an upward trend across the world and the Middle East region has contributed remarkably to this recovery after a nearly 2-year-long lean period.
“The last four months have been exceptionally good for the industry and the tempo is expected to pick further in coming months as the world is slowly emerging out of the recessionary trends,” said Chithiwala.
The competitive industry rates in India would continue to attract a sizable share of the cutting and polishing business to the South Asian country and it contributes to the growth of the business of stones in a big way in coming years.

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