Bottom Line Recommendations:
- When buying diamonds in Dubai, keep in mind that the prices are inflated and any first-time buyer could easily get ripped off.
- Diamonds come with different certifications in Dubai and comparing individual stones can be difficult. This is one reason why it is not a good idea to buy your diamonds in Dubai. That said, there are still some nice places to buy diamonds such as De Beers congregate and Tiffany & Co.
- We recommend buying your diamonds online from the leading sellers such as James Allen, Blue Nile, and Whiteflash. They offer the best in 360-degree videos of the diamond allowing you to make the best evaluation as you can see with this spectacular princess cut diamond here. They also stock diamonds from the leading diamond labs—GIA and AGS.
- You can buy your diamonds from the Dubai diamond trading websites. Since there are few overheads and low staff costs, the prices are much lower than what you will find at physical stores.
- Note that there are other costs involved when buying diamonds in Dubai. While as a tourist, you may not be liable to paying tax and this may create the illusion that the diamond prices are cheap. However, the truth is that the diamond prices are quoted at exorbitant prices far more than the actual value of the diamonds.
Add in the tax-free shopping and it comes as no surprise that plenty of locals and tourists look forward to finding the perfect diamond in Dubai.
However, there is more to shopping for diamonds in Dubai than meets the eye. Let’s find out more about this buying diamonds in Dubai guide.
Wheat to keep in mind when buying diamonds in Dubai
The UAE passed on a law that every diamond must come with a certificate. This was done to protect the interest of the customers. However, there was a problem involved with this law. Compared to the US where the GIA and AGS are the most popular diamond labs, there is no agreement in Dubai as to which lab to use when judging the quality of the diamonds.
Because of this, there is a high chance of misrepresentation of the information and comparing diamonds between different labs is hard.
Simply put, any diamond sold that does not have the GIA or the AGS certificate is likely inflated in value which causes customers to pay more than the actual value of the diamond.
And then there is the fact that diamonds sold in most jewelry stores are loose and are contained in an enclosed packet. A buyer will first have to pay a deposit and sometimes even pay the full amount before they can get the diamond and see how it performs in the light.
The reason why this is so is that there is very little trust between different parties in the diamond industry in Dubai. For the cautious diamond shopper, this should raise a red flag why Dubai may not be the best destination for buying diamonds.
The loose diamonds are sealed when exchanging hands between the wholesalers to the retailers. Even then they will remain in the sealed packets and will pass to the retailers in this fashion.
And let’s not forget that there are no money-back guarantees and the consumer protection is lousy.
One more reason why Dubai may not be the best destination for buying diamonds is that the various diamond centers are often tourist attraction centers. It makes sense that the prices are also quoted very high. The chances of getting great deals in tourist locations are very low.
Some of the main locations to buy diamonds in Dubai
Some locations in Dubai attract crowds of diamond shoppers. Some of these locations include.
The Gold Souk
The Gold souk is infamous for the gold jewelry. However, you can still find diamonds here. One thing to always keep mind when shopping for jewelry at the gold souk is that the prices are often set exorbitantly high so be careful.
Almost every diamond shopper who visits Dubai will pass through the gold souk. Here you can find all forms of jewelry including trinkets, bracelets, bullions as well as diamonds.
You can find the gold souk at the center of the old commercial district at Deira.
Gold and Diamond Park
This is a shopping mall and not an actual location such as the Gold Souk. Here the bright lights shine on the diamonds on display drawing your eyes to these spectacular stones.
You can find the gold and diamond park along Sheik Zayed road and right next to the First Gulf Bank metro shop.
Often the gold and diamond park is said to the best destination for buying diamonds in Dubai. It is understandable why the mall is so busy and always packed with both locals and tourists looking for their ideal diamond.
The Dubai Mall
This one is for the educated diamond buyer who knows how to avoid being ripped off and how to get a quality diamond that can be exchanged anywhere in the world.
The Dubai mall houses some international jewelers such as De Beers congregate and Tiffany & Co. Here you don’t have to worry about someone pushing you to buy a diamond as the prices are already fixed.
And while they may appear expensive, keep in mind that prices at the gold souk will often be quoted exorbitantly high.
You might wonder what is the point of shopping for your diamond from an international store when in Dubai while you can do so in any location worldwide.
Perhaps you may want to combine your trip to the gold city with your diamond shopping.
Dubai diamond trading websites
Buying diamonds online in Dubai is far better than buying from physical jewelry stores. The prices are much better since there are fewer overheads and staff cost when buying online.
Note however that you might have to pay a 5% deposit for the seller to reserve the diamond you want to buy.
Also, make sure to buy a diamond that has a certificate from a globally recognized diamond lab such as the GIA or the AGS.
This store is very popular in Dubai and is among the leading jewelry stores in the UAE having several branches and being ISO 9001:2008 as well as ISO 14000: 2004 certified.
Joyallukas was also given the Dubai quality awards by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum who is the ruler of Dubai.
Damas is an international store with its headquarters in Dubai. They have been around for over 100 years selling high-quality jewelry.
Damas has over 300 branches in 6 countries and is worth checking out whenever you are in Dubai.
Are diamonds cheaper in Dubai?
Granted Dubai may be the 3rd largest diamond trading center in the world but this doesn’t mean that the prices are cheaper here than other locations around the world.
Simply put, diamonds will pass through more hands before reaching the final buyer in Dubai. A consequence of this is that every time the diamonds exchange hands, their prices are inflated.
Also, there is no mining of diamonds in Dubai. This means that jewelry and loose diamonds are imported and sourced from other destinations around the world. This causes the costs of the diamonds to rise.
And since the diamonds are sold in physical stores, there are high prices in terms of staff and overhead costs further pushing up the prices of the diamonds.
And let’s not forget a sales tax that is placed on the purchase of luxury items which included jewelry and gold. This stands at 5% on the already high prices of the diamonds.
While this sales tax may not apply to tourists note that you will be expected to declare import duty or VAT once you return.
Should you travel to Dubai to buy diamonds?
If you are going to Dubai for personal reasons and not to buy diamonds, then it won’t hurt to shop for a diamond while you are in Dubai.
However, always keep in mind the high prices and high costs of shopping for diamonds here and it is not worth the traveling expenses. Any notion that diamonds are cheap since Dubai is the 3rd largest diamond market in the world is misguided and not true.
Also, keep in mind that there is no consumer protection or any guarantees when shopping for diamonds in Dubai. Dubai is certainly not the place to buy a diamond if you are a first-time shopper. You will only be exposing yourself to too many risks and the odds of getting scammed are very high.
Granted Dubai is one of the best places to visit and the architecture is simply breathtaking. There is a lot to feast your eyes on.
However, it is certainly not the best place to buy diamonds and if you have to do so doing your trip to the city of gold, then make sure you buy your diamonds from global brands. At least here you can get diamonds at international prices and you will not have to worry about getting ripped off.
Buying diamonds online
Another great alternative when shopping for diamonds in Dubai is to simply go online. We recommend shopping from Whiteflash, Blue Nile or James Allen. There are a couple of benefits to this.
First is that when you are shopping for diamonds, you can do so from the comfort of your apartment or suite. No sellers are trying to push you into buying a diamond and you can take your time to pick the right stone for you.
Second, diamonds in Dubai are sealed in a container which makes it hard to evaluate the stone and see how it performs in the light. When buying online, James Allen and the Blue Nile offer the best in 360-degree videos of the stone in high definition. This allows you to closely examine how the diamond appears and therefore make the best choice. ‘
Thirdly you don’t have to deal with exorbitant prices of diamonds. The pieces online are standard no matter where you are in the world and since online sellers do not have to deal with overhead costs and staff, the prices are also much more affordable.
Then there is the certification. In Dubai diamonds come with all manner of certification from the different diamond labs which makes comparing them that much difficult. When buying from the leading online sellers such as James Allen, Blue Nile or Whiteflash, you can get diamonds from globally recognized diamond labs such as GIA, and AGS. This makes it easier to compare the diamonds as well as to exchange the diamonds.