DUBAI, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Dubai free zone will become one of the world's top trading hubs for precious metals in two years, driven by the influx of firms and customers from the emerging markets, an official said on Sunday.
Some 20 percent of the world's gold trade is flowing now in Dubai, Dr. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) free zone, told Xinhua at the 2nd annual DMCC precious metals conference.
"Demand from East and West is still strong, whereas most new firms flock in from the emerging markets in Africa, India and China. We expect to host over 10,000 registered firms by 2015," said Bin Sulayem.
Bin Sulayem is hungry for more, saying that "Dubai aims to attract 50 percent of the gold trade."
Meanwhile, he is aware of the wind of change. "We increased our diamond trading capacities in the DMCC, but we would like to see more firms from China, more firms from Africa," said Bin Sulayem.
Labeled as the "city of gold" for decades due to its large number of gold souks, jewelry stores and wealthy tourists, Dubai, as a gold trading hub located between the top producers of the yellow metal in Africa and the major consumer India, received a boost in 2002 when the DMCC was established as a tax-free free commodities market.
Since then, over 3,500 firms from the precious metals sector, jewelry and other commodity firms, including diamonds, tea and cotton, set up a branch in the DMCC, luring firms from established commodity centers, such as London and Antwerp.