UAE looks to restore pearl industry's lustre
16 September 2012 Last updated at 16:36 BST
In January last year Dubai's Pearl Exchange made more than $13m in an international auction designed to try to bring business back to the region from Japan.
Before oil was found in the Gulf, pearl diving was the region's main industry - but now there is only one pearl dhow working out of Dubai, in the service of heritage tourism.
But the presence of one of the world's largest pearl traders in Dubai, there is confidence that the region's pearl trade can regain some of its lustre.
Howard Johnson reports from Dubai.