This is how brands are changing the business of beauty in the Arabian Gulf

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Chalhoub Group, a leading partner for luxury across the Middle East, recently launched the Group’s sixth White Paper, ‘GCC Beauty: Local Brands on the Rise?’.

After decades of international brands dominance over the Gulf beauty landscape, local independent players are on the rise and appealing to the modern consumer by standing for the region’s values and culture.


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The emergence of homegrown beauty entrepreneurs combined with the surge in internet usage are key factors in the changes seen in how the beauty sector defines itself and operates nowadays.

The Chalhoub Group sees an overwhelming change in how the whole beauty sector defines itself and operates nowadays.

The social media influence

The Group’s research in the GCC has found that:

Women in the Gulf allocate significant time and budget to their beauty routine.

The Gulf brick-and-mortar prestige beauty market decreased by approximately -5% for the full year 2017.


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The overall GCC prestige beauty market was estimated at approximately $1.8 billion for 2017, compared to $1.9 billion in 2016, following that incline international brands have reduced their marketing investments in the GCC.

This is mainly because of beautistas or beauty stars online who have a huge influence on the people, selling products or advertising them, according to the Group.

As a result, names like Ghawali, Arcadia, Odict, Ne’emah or Widian, in the fragrance sector, are gaining ground in terms of awareness and recognition.

Chalhoub’s advice

In this shifting environment, the Group’s White Paper identifies key steps that GCC and international beauty brands should take in order to prepare for the future:

– Offer customized products fit for regional likings.


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– International brands must embrace Arab beauty by offering products that enhance their features, rather than recommending products that will change their appearance

– Devise and implement strategies to convince consumers they understand the beauty culture in the region

– Shifting focus towards online platforms is important to reach a wider base of Arab consumers.