Makeup returns to Middle East market as pandemic abates

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – While the pandemic style has seen people put on pajamas and their hair in buns, 2021 is more about mascara and lip liner – and makeup sales in the multi-billion dollar market. Middle Eastern dollars are starting to improve.

For women in the region – and especially in the Arab Gulf States – makeup is one of their biggest expenses, providing an opportunity for expression even to those who cover their hair and part of their face with black sails.

After a pandemic sales crisis, analysts now forecast the Middle East makeup market to grow by up to 5% over the next five years, even as sales in some parts of the world continue to slow, such as in Western Europe. and in North America.

Building on these trends, Dubai – the glitzy city-state that is part of the United Arab Emirates – has hosted a number of events and celebrities. Among them was Mario Dedivanovic, known for having made up Kim Kardashian, who hosted a conference this weekend on the future of beauty. With over 9 million followers, Dedivanovic is one of the most influential makeup artists currently on the scene.

Maskless women wearing designer shoes and bags and wearing the latest makeup trends, gathered at the Mirdif City Center Mall to listen to him.

Dedovanovic said Dubai is on par with global beauty centers.

“Dubai is such a cosmopolitan city. All over the world, you know, everyone knows about Dubai, ”Dedovanovic told The Associated Press. He said makeup artists in Dubai “are doing everything at the same pace as … it’s done in Paris, Milan and London.”

The makeup industry was worth $ 4 billion in the Middle East even during the pandemic, according to market research group Euromonitor International. But the pandemic has hit hard with the increase in homeworking and the cancellations of many social events such as weddings. Job losses linked to the pandemic also meant less disposable income and spending focused more on necessities.

Globally, the makeup industry shrank 16% in 2020, Euromonitor said, with a slightly less drastic drop to 10% in the Middle East.

Amna Abbas, beauty and fashion consultant at Euromonitor, said parts of the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, have shorter lockdown periods. Once the markets reopened, “we saw signs of recovery happening immediately,” she said.

As people started returning to the office, socializing more, and attending events, makeup sales started to improve. Euromonitor said makeup sales growth is expected to reach 6% to 8% in the Middle East this year.

Abbas said growth has been faster than expected, although the market is not expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 or 2023. She added that “the recovery is still underway.”

Online shopping is also becoming more and more important, as is the use of social media. After 2020, more women turned to online shopping for their favorite shades of lipstick or foundation, sometimes assisted by an augmented reality feature where they could see what they would look like while wearing. a specific color.

Amid the growing dependence on online shopping, Gulf women follow celebrities, influencers and makeup brands on social media for beauty trends and tips. Dubai-based Iraqi-American beauty mogul Huda Kattan built a billion dollar business here on this.

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Follow Malak Harb on Twitter at www.twitter.com/malakharb.

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