In a society where there is great emphasis on looks, one can never afford to scrimp on beauty products. Many residents in the UAE spend as much each year on cosmetics as they do on housing rent, according to a recent report released on Wednesday.
The report, commissioned by dmg events Middle East, showed that one in every 10 consumers in the country is putting a premium on looking beautiful, spending Dh60,000 a year on beauty products — the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina or a small car.
Such spending is driven not just by mere vanity, but also high consumerism, increased personal incomes and a strong social pressure to look good.
Dmg’s survey, conducted in March this year and included 496 males and females, was released in the run-up to the December launch of Life & Style Show UAE, a consumer event expected to attract 51,000 visitors.
The survey also found that consumers want to stay on trend, with 23 per cent of the respondents admitting to buying a new item of clothing every month.
Per capita spend
Figures released by Euromonitor International indicated that the beauty and personal care industry in the UAE is booming, with overall spending expected to reach $1.3 billion (Dh4.77 billion) by 2017. Per capita spending stood at Dh456 in 2012 and is forecast to grow to Dh554.1.
As of 2012, consumers spent the most on mass cosmetics, with the average person setting aside Dh245.3 a year. Premium cosmetics were the second-most popular, registering a per capita spending of Dh149.4, followed by fragrances (Dh106.8) and hair care (Dh60.9).
A Euromonitor report said that sales of beauty products benefit from a number of factors, including high disposable income levels in the country, a strong shopping culture and huge influx of tourists. The high demand can also be attributed to the rising trend of men beginning to use a widening range of beauty and personal care products.
Shuja Jashanmal, managing director of JBC (FZC) Lucrae, which distributes various beauty and skin care brands such as REN and Nougat London, observed that UAE and GCC nationals appear to be spending most on beauty. “[This is because] they have the time, discretionary incomes, as well as increasing [desire] for personal grooming and wellness,” Jashanmal told Gulf News.
Jashanmal said consumers tend to go for organics and niche brands these days. “Consumers in the UAE have become more sophisticated over the last years, travelling often and being exposed to global lifestyle and trends.”
The Life & Style Show UAE, taking place on December 5 to 7 this year at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, will feature seven individual events, including one specific to fashion and beauty. The fashion and beauty segment will provide an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products and for visitors to bring home some bargains as well as tips from experts.