After ten years of operating in Dubai, a city that is known for its love for diamonds and jewellery, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has decided to wind up its operations. After continuously evaluating all of their global education and laboratory services, GIA has decided to this in coordination with the GIA Board of Governors to ensure that they use their resources as effectively as possible to fulfil their consumer protection mission. “While the city and the region remain vital to the diamond trade, the hard decision to close the Dubai operations was made to align GIA’s resources with our mission. Laboratory clients who have previously used the take-in facility in Dubai may submit stones to any other GIA laboratory or take-in facility. The Dubai school location will continue to operate through Dec. 31, 2019. We are committed to fulfilling our obligations to our students and will continue to provide quality educational services during this closure period,” says Nirupa Bhatt, MD, GIA India & Middle East. Students who wish to continue their GIA education or need to complete required lab classes within a credentialed distance education program may enrol through another GIA global location.
While the diamond industry at large has been going through a seismic change in terms of supply and demand and also market volatility, GIA remains focused on its mission, says Bhatt, “The industry has been through many cyclical ups and downs, and throughout such periods – whether in the past or present – GIA has always remained focus on its mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewellery. The decision to close the Dubai location is to help the Institute align its resources to fulfil and further the mission.”
The decision to close operations in the diamond hub of the Middle East, eventually throws open the question of how the market is performing in the region. “GIA does not buy or sell diamonds, our role as a mission-driven, independent Institute is to offer unbiased grading reports, world-class education and develop accurate instrumentation – all of which ultimately benefits the industry. Consumers are interested in the story about diamonds, and that is fundamentally the reason why GIA introduced the Diamond Origin Report,” adds Bhatt.
Recently, GIA opened labs in both Antwerp and Surat and also expanded the size of its lab in Hong Kong.