The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) had started plugging the event in the midst of the pandemic. The world had just gone through the second wave of Corona, and the DMCC CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem’s audacious confirmation of the conference dates – many months ahead – raised quite a few eyebrows.
The 2019 edition of the DDC – a lifetime ago – had won many accolades. Ronnie VanderLinden, president of the International Manufacturers Association (IDMA), wrote in a recent IDMA newsletter that it had been “one of the best, if not the best conference I attended during my years in the industry. I have high expectations for the upcoming fifth edition as well.” In other words, for this year’s conference, the DMCC has its work cut out for it.
This DDC’s opening ceremony is headlined by two keynote speakers, ministers of mineral resources in their respective countries: Lefoko Moagi of Botswana and Dr. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo of Angola. The names of the other speakers -no one but the keynote speakers are allocated more than five minutes – are all well known. They were Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa, Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers; Yoram Dvash, WFDB President; Iris Van der Veken, ED of RJC; Edward Asscher, World Diamond Council President; CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri; and David Block, CEO of Sarine.
A surprising, if not refreshing, speaker is Beryl Raff, Chairperson, and CEO of Helzberg Diamonds. She is not here for just a five-minute speech, and we may expect some interesting insights from her in the afternoon sessions. In an interview with the magazine of her alma mater, Boston University, she was called “The CEO with the extra sparkle.” Let the sparkling begin.
By Ya’akov Almor, special event envoy from Dubai