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23 April 2024

Diamond traders to move into Almas Tower by year end

By VM Sathish



Diamond traders are set to move into their new home in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers in September.

Demand for space in the landmark Almas Tower, where the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) will be based, was so high that it sold out quickly. The exchange is currently operating at Business Avenue in Deira.

Commercial premises in the 360 metre tower – whose name means diamond in Arabic – were initially available only to companies registered as Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) engaged in the gold, diamond and commodities trade.

“When Almas Tower was opened for bidding the total saleable area was more than 725,000 square feet,” said Youri Steverlynck, CEO of DDE. “It was all sold within 48 hours. We hope we will now have a limited number of offices available in the secondary market.
Considering the long waiting list of international diamond companies wanting office space we will not object if someone wants to resell space to those on the waiting list. Companies are getting a good premium now.

“A number of Antwerp companies want a presence in Dubai. Two-thirds of the top client list of De Beers are here. More than half of the companies listed with the DDE are Indian firms which now dominate the Antwerp diamond business too.”

Almas will tower over more than 80 buildings in the Jumeirah Lake Towers project. It has been designed to meet the requirements of the regional and international diamond trade and will have vaults, advanced security and IT infrastructure, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants. Traders will be able to set up shop on the first 20 floors.
Construction delays meant the 65-storey tower was not ready by its original December 2007 completion date. Occupants will include international firms Rosy Blue, GIA, Eurostar, the Love Diamond Company, Tache and Kristall along with leading regional players Damas, Taiba and Al Romaizan.

They will enjoy benefits under a free zone status including a 50-year guaranteed tax holiday, 100 per cent ownership of business premises and a secure regulated environment. The tower was designed by Atkins Middle East and is being built by Japan’s Taisei Corporation.

Steverlynck said after the Wafi diamond robbery the developers redoubled their efforts to make sure Almas had the most advanced security provisions.