Future 100 trends and changes to watch in MENA

J. Walter Thompson Middle East and Africa’s Innovation Group released its sixth annual consumer trends report, covering the MENA region for 2018. The “Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in MENA” captures key themes accelerating the pace of change for consumers in the fast and dynamic economies of Egypt, North Africa, Lebanon, Jordan, the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, spurring similarities with the West.

 

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Authored by Mennah Ibrahim, MEA Director of the Innovation Group, the report is sliced into 10 main categories – Culture, Tech & Innovation, Travel & Hospitality, Brands & Marketing, Food & Drink, Beauty, Retail, Health, Lifestyle, and Luxury.

Each trend in the Future 100 MENA Report is part of a growing phenomenon; that Middle Eastern consumers are increasingly identifying themselves as ‘global citizens’.

With the universal nature of digital networks, the region is experiencing a significant move towards a post-hipster world, bringing a new spin on parenthood, money and lifestyle matters overall.

Fifth fashion capital rising: Trend #75

From Palestine to Saudi Arabia, a new generation of designers from the Middle East is finding fame in the world’s fashion capitals. The more daring among them often appeal to a broader slice of the global marketplace.

According to Katrina Judd, founder of In+Addition Consulting firm, young Middle Eastern designers “might inevitably draw on stories from their respective cultures, but are designing for a global audience”.

Anti-luxury luxury: Trend #72

The Times reports that demand for “mystery holidays” is so high, mainstream travel agents are considering offering the experience. Grooms booking a mystery honeymoon, were a key manifestation of this trend, according to Alex Wix, the director of Wix Squared.

Locations such as Oman, in the Middle East, are a popular destination for the luxury traveler of today inspired by both physical and intellectual challenges.

 

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Generation Z luxury: Trend #80

As teenagers and consumers, the digital-native generation is already a big spender within the luxury market. Forward-thinking brands are getting ahead by hiring young talent.

In Dubai, 15-year-old Instagrammer Rashed Belhasa, known to his followers as ‘Money Kicks,’ has utilized his social presence to flaunt his extravagant sneaker collection, and debut his urbanwear clothing line and various brand collaborations.

Commenting on the report, Mennah Ibrahim said: “Borders are collapsing at the touch of technology, causing much faster trend evolution and similarities with the West, as the Middle Eastern consumer increasingly identifies as a ‘global citizen’.

“Last year, I wrote about the growing demand for brands and lifestyle products to offer Muslim-centric options of diverse identity, social justice and social impact. Interestingly, these recurring themes, along with other emerging trends, are now flowing faster in the opposite direction. This East to West exchange is making those trends’ influences felt across consumer categories around the globe.”

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