1.0 Introduction

In the last 20 years, the market for beauty and personal care products has grown exponentially. The annual growth rate of this industry ranges between 3% and 5.5% (Lopaciuk and Loboda, 2013). The personal care products are broadly classified as cosmetics and toiletries. The market for personal care products has depicted a more resilience in the face of economic turmoil. The market of beauty products can be sub-divided into the five segments, namely, haircare products, perfumes, make-up and skincare products (Lopaciuk and Loboda, 2013). Branding is an important market strategy in case of beauty products and allows the manufacturing companies to extract high price (Lopaciuk and Loboda, 2013; Hill, Jones and Schilling, 2014).  According to the industry analysis, the market for global personal care is concentrated in the US, Russia, UK, Brazil and the European market (Webco, 2014).  However, the concern associated with the use of toxic chemical based cosmetics on health have led to the increasing demand for the organic products.  In the recent years, the market of organic personal care has experienced a steady growth stimulated by the notion of safe hygiene and is expected to reach the $13 billion by 2018 (Global Cosmetic Industry, 2013). Estimates reveal that the market of women’s beauty product has experienced seven times higher growth than the entire cosmetic market. Some of the factors that testifies this high growth are increased consumer spending, smart packaging, introduction of customised products, changes in the preferences and awareness (Webco, 2014).

This paper aims at investigating the market of beauty and personal care in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The researcher has analysed the growth factors of this industry in the country. The in –depth analysis has led to the depiction of the challenges that pose a threat to the future of personal care products in the country. Therefore, some of the recommendations have been provided which can facilitate further growth in the concerned industry in the UAE.

2.0 Current status of the market of beauty and personal care products in UAE

The UAE has experience a stable growth in the products concerning personal well-being. The total valuation of the market of beauty products stands US $1.64 billion. The annual growth percentage in the retail sector of UAE is expected to remain stable at 4.8% until 2019 (Rana, 2016).  However, the prime segment to contribute to the rising trend of the beauty products is expected to contribute AED 5.6 billion by the end of 2018 to the economy of the country.  The UAE market of beauty products is also characterised by a considerable volume of imported products. These products mainly consists of grooming products (Rana, 2016). According to the market distributors of the beauty products in the market, the growth of social media and other means of communication has provided a wide exposure to the latest fashion trends in the advanced countries like, the US and UK. Thus, the women in the Arab countries have also made looking beautiful as their important priority increasing the demand for such products. The market of UAE faces an increasing demand for high-quality beauty products and perfumes. This explains the demand for imported brands in the UAE market. The analysis of the GCC countries reveal that the per capita spending on the cosmetics and fragrances amounts to US$ 334 (Pivac, 2015). The market of perfumes is highly competitive in UAE with introduction of a large number of new perfumes every year.

Rasai Perfumes is one of the celebrated companies located in Dubai and has been in the business since 1979. According the managing director of the company, the UAE market faces intense competition from the international brands. According to estimates, UAE houses one of the largest consumer base in terms of beauty and personal care products (Pivac, 2015). Besides perfume, facial and eye make-up are of great demand in the UAE market. The trends of facial and eye make-up are very different in Dubai and other regions of the UAE. Women in this country prefer full-coverage foundation, bright lipsticks and dark eye make-up. This make-up style are inspired by the cultural practices. Therefore, this creates a strong market demand for full coverage foundations, trendy lipsticks, vibrant eye make-up consisting, eye-lines, mascara, eye shadows, kohl liners, etc. The most recent development in the trends of UAE is that young population is looking for permanent solution to their beauty problems resulting in the growth of cosmetic surgeries (Bedi, 2011).

The other significant trend in the UAE’s beauty and personal care products is the inclination towards product made from natural ingredients. This has also increased the number of companies engaged in the production of organic beauty products. BeautyworldME is the largest trade fair in the Middle East constituting products based on beauty and well-being was held in Dubai this year. It was noteworthy that 18 companies were present that manufactured natural beauty products against 12 companies in 2015 (Zakaria, 2016).

3.0 The factors contributing to the growth of beauty and personal care products in UAE

Customers demand for more customised solution based products: In 2014, the market survey it was revealed that consumers are looking for products that could tackle specific problems related to skin and hair care. Moreover, the consumption of anti-ageing and anti-cellulite products have been increasing demanded by both men and women in UAE (Euromonitor International, 2015). According to 2012 estimates, the consumers in the UAE had purchased 43% of mass cosmetics and 27% of premium ranged ones (US Commercial Service, 2015).

Table 1: The UAE Consumer spending on Beauty products in 2012

Product segment

Spending By consumers



Premium Cosmetics




Haircare products


(Source: US Commercial Service, 2015)

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