Beyond business - Emirates24|7

Beyond business

(SUPPLIED)

Name: Nicholas Paspaley

Age: Prefer not to say

Nationality: Australian

Job: Chairman of the Board of Directors, Paspaley Pearls Group

Tell me more about your involvement with the upcoming World Pearl Forum in Dubai. Paspaley is supporting the World Pearl Forum, which is one of several initiatives of the Government of Dubai, designed to stimulate pearl trade in the region. Others include the establishment of the Dubai Pearl Exchange, which is a wholesale trading platform, and the planned Pearls of Arabia project, which will be a retail and tourism district with a focus on pearls.

How big is the pearl industry in the region at the moment? The Middle East holds great potential for the pearl industry. This is the reason that we chose the UAE as the first location for our international retail expansion.

Has the industry been affected by the credit crisis? It is unlikely that any sector will be unaffected by the economic downturn so the next year will certainly present some challenges. However, in the jewellery sector, South Sea pearls should be more resilient than other categories such as diamonds because, by comparison, the price of South Sea pearls has been very stable during the last few years. If demand for South Sea pearls does decrease during the next twelve months it is likely that some producers will be driven out of business. The medium term result will be that production decreases which will keep prices stable.

Are pearls a good investment? In comparison to the performance of traditional investments such as shares and real estate during the last 12 months, I can definitely recommend investing some money in South Sea pearls.

What should customers look out for when buying pearls? If you were shopping for a pearl I would recommend that you only buy something that is beautiful to your eye. If the appearance of a pearl appeals to you it is likely that it is of good quality.


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