More than 1000 visitors attended the first dedicated colored gemstone trade fair, ICA International Gem Show, in Dubai last October.
Organised by the International Colored Gemstone Association, the show featured gemstones and gemstone jewellery from more 150 exhibitors from around the world including nine from Australia – Aussie Opal Market, Denes Berta, Clifton Opal, Cody Opal (Australia), Bolda, True Blue Opals, Platinum Gems, Sherman Opals and Tremac.
ICA president Andrew Cody said that although “the exhibitors’ displays were fantastic” and “a lot of major business deals were completed at the Show” he was nonetheless disappointed with the Show’s final attendance figures.
“We wanted to attract 3000 visitors but the negative media coverage about the world recession really had a major impact on our numbers,” he said.
“In addition I think we misunderstood the Arab marketplace – it seems the market just isn’t yet there for loose stones.”
The 2008 Show was held at the five-star Al Bustan Rotana Hotel under the patronage of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and supported by the ICA GemBureau Middle East.
Cody said the Show was organised to give gemstone buyers “a new kind of trade show experience” where they had the “opportunity to meet the major suppliers of gemstones from around the world under one roof”.
Cody said the Show was held in Dubai as the emirate had established itself as a prominent international centre for the precious commodities trade.
“The emirate’s geographical advantage located amidst international trade flows, ease of doing business and the government of Dubai’s commitment to playing a crucial in role in boosting the commodity trade, made it a natural choice for a dedicated trade fair,” he said.
At this stage the ICA has not decided whether it will stage a coloured gemstone fair in 2009.
“We are however confident that in the longer term the ICA International Gem Show will evolve into an important highlight in the calendar of the global colored stones industry,” Cody said.