The Middle East has a strong culture of socialising – be it over meals, shopping, getting a haircut, beard trim or over a relaxed spa session. This social culture dates back to centuries from the time of the hammams or public baths. Today some of these age-old traditions are seeing revival. Hammams are now exclusive features in high-end hotels, so much so that today many international brands, Dutch brand Rituals Cosmetics being one, takes inspiration from this ancient tradition to develop one of its product lines.
The region also loves fragrances. Arabs are known for their preference of fragrances that leave a trail, quite like oud and attar from the olden days. No wonder, oud has been gaining more and more prominence in recent years as an essential ingredient in developing perfumes catering to the Middle Eastern taste. So much so that alongside the home-grown perfumers – like Abdul Samad Al Qurashi, Ajmal Perfumes or Arabian Oud – even international brands like Gucci and L’Occitane develop their oud range to meet regional consumer demand.
Further, there is a steady rise in the number of fragrance galleries – such as Plethora, Amouage and more recently Ghawali – offering a range of niche perfumes. Department stores like Sephora, Areej, Paris Gallery and Wojooh are doing brisk business offering the whole range of beauty, personal care and fragrance lines.
The Levant region is reputed for its art of soap-making using natural ingredients like olive oil and other essential oils. Today several home-grown brands like The Camel Soap Factory as well as international names like LUSH Cosmetics and Le Soie are taking this tradition forward.
The regional beauty market is undoubtedly thriving and seems to be challenge-proof. What’s more interesting is the kind of trends that the industry is throwing up, making the space more dynamic and exciting. One such trend is the rise in the number of home-grown brands that are successfully rubbing shoulders with the international names. Bahrain-based Green Bar and Dubai-based Shiffa are some great examples.
These days’ consumers are far more conscious about what they put into their stomach. They screen through ingredients, nutrient composition as well as the ethical standing of products they consume. This trend is now becoming increasingly visible in cosmetics and personal care too, giving rise to natural, ethical and free-from brands leading to the rise of brands like The Organic Pharmacy, The Body Shop and Nuxe to name a few.
Besides fragrances and skincare products, the region also sees strong demand for colour cosmetics. Adding spunk through colours has always been cool in the Middle East. It has become even more sophisticated with companies like Pantone coming up with colour trends for every season. No wonder Polish brand Inglot has a huge fan following in the Middle East.
Along with the much-loved brands are the new entrants like Italian KIKO Milano causing a rage with its colour cosmetics and Rituals Cosmetics propagating the culture of slowing down and enjoying a little therapy daily. After all, one must enjoy a shower, a cup of tea or just staring out of the window to gaze at the beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Gone are the days when cosmetics and personal care was a woman’s domain. Of course, one could spot a few isolated products for men too. But times have changed. Men’s grooming is an emerging market holding promising prospects that the industry doesn’t wish to ignore. Small wonder, therefore, that several concepts with a men-only focus are coming to the forefront. From masstige brands like Nivea’s range for men to salons like Gentlemen’s Tonic at Atlantis, The Palm to the recently launched GlamBox For Him are all in demand.
Finally, a significant trend within the beauty and personal care industry is the rise of a new breed of people called the social influencers. As opposed to a billboard on a busy highway, its human beings who are helping brands reach different corners and alleyways, world-over. That’s the kind of sway social media influencers have on today’s consumers.
Beauty influencers like Huda Kattan have over 20 million followers on Instagram. Dubai-based blogger AlReem Saif, who works with global brands including MAC Cosmetics, Pantene, Max Factor and Bobbi Brown, has 115,000 Instagram followers.
RetailME reviews the latest trends in and performance of the regional beauty and personal care market
Read the full article in the June edition of RetailME
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu
UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand
Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the
UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels
The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th
UAE-based Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah,
Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones
UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the
Carrefour UAE has launched “Cookit Yourself” — a curated recipe box created
UAE-based Al Islami Foods, one of the largest frozen food companies in
Marks & Spencer’s plant-based range now offers over 25 vegan products including meat-free
Abu Dhabi’s state investment company ADQ is in talks to invest about $500 million
The once powerful department stores that anchored malls and streets around the
Who isn’t a sucker for discounts? Customers today are spoiled for choice
The various e-commerce and virtual retail stores that cater to different product
A private helicopter carrying the chairman and managing director of Lulu Group,
Tighter restrictions on hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues on account of
All hotels and restaurants have been directed to temporarily hold entertainment activities
The new Dubai Gold Souk is “very much on track”, according to
Gone are the days of traditional brick-and-mortar as well as purely e-commerce
The Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group’s ongoing jewellery campaign, held in association
Retail Abu Dhabi, the retail platform of the Department of Culture and