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All That Glitters in Dubai

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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“The Middle East cosmetics and personal care sector has grown 12% annually during the past three years, with sales valued at $2.1 billion in 2007,” says Eckhard Pruy, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, an exhibition organizer. “The figures reveal that the society of the Middle East puts a premium on appearance, skin care and beauty, and grooming, areas that are increasingly an important concern for both women and men.”4

Beautyworld Middle East senior show manager Andrea Werner echoes that sentiment. “In fact, the consumption of cosmetics and perfumes in the region is ranked among the highest per capita worldwide, with an average purchase per head of around $334 annually, and the beauty market worth more than $408 million in retail sales,” she says.4

According to Intelligent Spas’ United Arab Emirates Spa Benchmark Report, the number of spa businesses in the UAE is forecast to grow by approximately 34% between 2008–2010. The report also states the total revenue generated by the spa industry in 2007 was estimated to be approximately $70 million, with average revenue per spa to be an estimated $1.1 million—a 13.2% growth from the previous year.

“New business environment changes for the past decade were influenced by the new social factors in the UAE: the local consumers have become more educated and open to international trends; personal grooming and well-being turned out to be an important and common factor of the modern generation of the country’s residents; and enormous growth of tourism in the region is another key reason to be mentioned,” says Russell. “These aspects lead the spa industry in Dubai to the growing trend of community spa and hotel and resort spas and private spas, driven by the growth of tourism and sophistication of the Middle Eastern lifestyle.”

Givenchy Spa and Oriental Hammam

Trying to shake off some serious jet lag after a good 15 hours crunched in an airplane, my first venture into the world of Dubai spas was the lovely Givenchy Spa Health and Beauty Institute and Oriental Hammam, located at the Residence & Spa of the One&Only Royal Mirage.