UAE residents still spending big on beauty
These may be hard times - but UAE residents still want soft skin, nails and hair, as it emerged they are spending more on high-end beauty products than ever before.
Ahead of a high-profile exhibition being held in Dubai later this month, industry-watchers yesterday revealed spending on personal care items including hair products, expensive moisturisers and fancy fragrances is “growing exponentially” despite the global gloom.
Information from research firm Euromonitor International now places the combined spending on hair products in the UAE and Saudi Arabia at over half a billion dollars a year. That’s not all - the Middle East racks up an annual bill of quarter of a billion dollars on fragrances, and the UAE alone spends around $150 million a year on skincare.
Euromonitor International research manager Sana Toukan said costly moisturisers are currently among the fastest selling items in the UAE.
“For the UAE premium products will be growing at a very high rate over the next five years,” she said, speaking ahead of the three-day Beautyworld Middle East event, opening in Dubai on May 29.
Global giants like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have cornered a substantial share of the UAE market, but beyond popular foreign brands, Toukan expects firms to tailor products to local demands.
“The localisation trend is clearly shown in recent new product developments. Revlon for example have launched a Middle East-specific line,” she said, adding that a recently launched traditional Middle Eastern ‘oud’ fragrance by Ferrari was further proof of firms catering to Arab tastes.
The growth of the beauty and personal care hygiene is even more pronounced in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the Euromonitor expert explained.
A land once populated by hardened Bedouins today expects male beauty products including hair gel and skin creams to be among the industry’s biggest sellers in the next five years. Saudi women, meanwhile, are demanding skin whitening masks and creams.
“It is a symbol of Arabian beauty to be white - especially so in a more traditional market such as Saudi Arabia,” Toukan said.