The Dubai Commodities Centre (DMCC) announced April 8 2007 that it is expanding its role in precious commodities by creating the Dubai Pearl Exchange (DPE). The DMCC hopes to revive the pearl industry in the United Arab Emirates, which in years past, was once well regarded for pearl diving and trading. The new pearl exchange will be overseen by the Diamonds and Colored Stones Division of the DMCC, who are hoping to capitalize on the new interest and rising value of the commodity. “The pearl industry, which is valued at $ 1 billion in rough form, has witnessed a significant recovery since 2005,” said DMCC CEO Ahmed bin Sulayem. “Pearl prices have shown a continuous upward trend, despite a 23.6 percent rise in world pearl production which touched 1,552 tonnes in 2005. Pearls are a major ingredient in jewelery with a highly elastic consumer price range from $50 to $50,000 per pearl grain.” Pearl production farms mostly operate in Japan, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Tahiti, and Australia, and most pearl auctions are taking place in Hong Kong, said Diamonds and Colored Stones executive director Tawfic Farah. He added that the DMCC is “keen on rebuilding the pearl trade [in the UAE] to attain its historical significance.” Farah believes Dubai can eventually eclipse Hong Kong as a destination for pearl trading, by becoming a “one-stop shop,” adding essential value-added services, beyond just an avenue for trade. The DMCC has already partnered with Bahrain's Pearl Laboratory to provide grading services, as well as joint venture Polygon DMCC to provide an Internet trading service to compliment the live exchange. “Already a global center for the gold and diamond trade, Dubai’s strategic location, superior industry-specific infrastructure, international standards and best practices, as well as upcoming projects in the pearl trade, provides traders with distinct advantages. It is our mission to make the Dubai Pearl Exchange a world-class trading facility that supports the pearl industry,” he said. Membership in the Dubai Pearl Exchange will be limited and first considerations will be given to companies that are licensed by the DMCC, such as the Dubai Gem Club.