Beautyworld Middle East attracts more visitors than in 2008

By Phoebe Jackson (in Dubai) and Virginia Muzik

Beautyworld Middle East and Wellness and Spas returned to the Dubai International Convention Center for its 14th year on June 7, attracting visitors from across the Middle East as well as significant numbers from Asia and Europe over the three day event.

As the largest international beauty trade show in the region, this year’s event attracted almost 700 exhibitors from 45 countries, occupying 23000 sqms of the exhibition space.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt, whose worldwide portfolio of beauty and wellness fairs includes Beautyworld India this October, Beautyworld Middle East offers an unsurpassed business platform and access to what is now one of the largest and most profitable beauty and cosmetics markets in the world. Despite the international economic downturn, the Middle Eastern beauty industry continues to grow at a rate of 12 per cent annually. This is significant when compared to the projected five per cent increase expected for the Australian beauty industry this year.

“From a trade perspective, during a time of economic uncertainty, export companies try to seek lucrative markets like the Middle East in order to reduce their dependence on one or two larger developed markets, such as Europe or the USA,” said Andrea Werner, Senior Show Manager for Beautyworld Middle East.

“This year, we have noticed an increase in the number of companies interested in exhibiting from the USA, Italy and Argentina, indicating more international awareness of the Cosmetic and Toiletries market potential here in the Middle East.”

While Dubai is renowned as a strong trade hub linked to further opportunities to neighbouring regions, the Arabian Gulf States also possess 45 per cent of global oil wealth, making it one of the wealthiest and fastest developing regions in the world. With this comes a rapidly growing population, rising at six per cent annually and, with 60 per cent of the population under the age of 25, it is an ideal market for beauty products. There is also a substantial expansion in the development of shopping malls, with almost 30 per cent of all retail space being occupied by beauty retailers.

A noticeable product group with, by far, the largest representation at Beautyworld Middle East is the fragrance sector. While fragrance is barely represented at trade events in Australia, its strong presence at this show is indicative of the local beauty industry and demands. Indeed, according to the latest research, the Middle East and Africa represent the fastest growing market for the fragrance industry, with a projected growth of six per cent for the next five years.

An obvious absence however, was the sunless tanning sector, with only four companies exhibiting tanning ranges. Needless to say, there is a much stronger demand for whitening and brightening products in the Middle Eastern region.

Growth in the Middle East, for the beauty industry at large, represents huge untapped opportunities for international companies. Interestingly, there is great demand for natural and organic products, which were well represented at Beautyworld Middle East this year – and is an area in which Australian companies excel.

Australia was well represented at the Australian Pavilion, with eight companies showcasing their products, with several returning to Dubai for their second or third year. ZINK Mineral Makeup is one of very few mineral makeup companies represented at the show, with the benefits of mineral makeup only just gaining recognition in the Middle East region. Likewise, Jan Herdman promoted her Beauty Hair & Health Personnel website, an online recruitment service, and was in a league of her own as the only online service provider represented at the fair. The strong demand by visitors for natural and organic products was harnessed by Australia’s Advanced Natural and Sasy n Savy, who demonstrated the benefits and popularity of natural Australian ingredients.

One of the highlights of Beautyworld Middle East this year was the ‘Walk of Beauty’, a gathering of the most talented professional hairdressers and makeup artists from all over the world, performing live on stage and providing glamour and style to the event.

The Inspiration Arena provided a relaxed and inviting zone in the heart of the exhibition hall where seminars and workshops took place throughout the three-day event. Products and new technologies were demonstrated, while informative sessions also educated visitors on topics such as regulations for importing cosmetic and health products into Dubai.

Coinciding with Beautyworld Middle East was Wellness and Spas Middle East, an affiliate Messe Frankfurt showcase, focusing on the region’s rapidly developing spa market. Dubai is set to become the number one spa destination in the world by 2010, according to a recent Gulf News report, with the industry as a whole experiencing a 17 per cent year-on-year growth.

Those wanting a pure dose of over-the-top Dubai opulence without leaving the exhibition hall were invited to ogle the Swarovski Lamborghini, advertising Foilacar, an exclusive leading car coating company. While not quite relevant to the beauty industry, it certainly demonstrated the incredible demand for exclusive, customised luxury in the region.

Following Beautyworld Middle East’s conclusion, Messe Frankfurt representative for Australia, Doris Schnyder, said, “After the success of this year’s Australian Pavilion, I will again coordinate a national stand in 2010.”

Interested Australian companies can contact Ms Schnyder on (02) 8296 0455 or email doris.schnyder@australia.messefrankfurt.com for further information.

Next year’s edition of Beautyworld Middle East will take place from June 1 to 3. Visit http://www.messefrankfurtme.com for more information on all upcoming Beautyworld events, including Beautyworld India from October 4 to 6, 2009.

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