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K-Beauty in Dubai

May 25, 2023


K-Beauty in Dubai - Episode 99 

On this episode Lauren reports on the status of K-Beauty in Dubai, the top trending products, categories and beauty trends and some predictions for the future. 



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Apart from a handful of online beauty stores and smaller selections of K-Beauty in offline stores it seems that K-Beauty in Dubai is still very much in its infancy. The Face Shop (a subsidiary of LG Household & Health Care) has an offline presence.

The brand is rarely talked about in Korea these days but their most recognisable line is the Dr Belmeur collection. 

K-Beauty in Dubai


The Beauty Market in the Middle East

The beauty market in the Middle East was valued at $10.2B in 2019 and is projected to reach $13.9B by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.0% from 2021 to 2027, according to Allied Market Research. Middle East consumers having one of the largest per capita expenditures on beauty worldwide. 

Korean Institute of Halal Industry (KIHI) figures indicate exports to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries grew by 14% in 2020 to $308M and 28% in 2021 to $395M.

This is a 42% growth in two years.

In 2020 imports of Korean cosmetics to UAE grew to 62.7% from 2019. Dubai is regarded as one of the leading driver of Korean Beauty's growth in the Middle East. This is in part because it is a a key destination for both sales and re-exports of K-Beauty products. 

K-Beauty in Dubai


Features of the UAE that make it an interesting market for beauty 

Cosmetics Design Asia reports that the UAE (which encompasses Dubai) is characterized by:

  • Extremely diverse cultures
  • Locals account for only 12% of market
  • Extreme diversity in spending across the market
  • Fragmented retail channels 
  • Quite different from other parts of the Middle East, like Saudi which are quite homogenous. 


What K-Beauty Products & Brands Are Available In Dubai?

In addition to offline brands like the Face Shop, there are K-Beauty brands stocked in a variety of different offline stores. 

Watsons had a large but niche selection of K-Beauty products and brand, from SNP, SOMEBYMICOSRX, Goodal, Abib, Mediheal, AHC and Romand, among others. 

Sephora has a relatively small collection, featuring Laneige, Dr Jart and Glow Recipe. 

K-Beauty in Dubai 

The Top Beauty Products In the UAE

It goes without saying that Huda Beauty (owned by influencer Huda Kattan) is one of the most popular. Huda herself is of Iraqi descent and previously lived in Dubai. She is now based in the States. 

Other popular labels include Anastasia Beverley Hills and Tarte. 


What are the key categories in the skincare market in the UAE?

The key categories for beauty in the UAE include body care, depilatories, facial care, hand care and make-up remover. Facial care was the largest category in 2021, while make-up remover​ is forecast to register the fastest value growth during 2021-2026. The make-up remover category is also expected to gain the maximum market share in value terms during the forecast period.


 Korean Skincare in Dubai

The Top Beauty Trends in Dubai in 2022

  • Traditional skincare

  • Pure and natural ingredients

  • Environmentally friendly 

  • Personalised beauty care

  • Natural is beautiful - more people sporting i.e. grey hair

  • Permanent rather than short term solutions (for things like hair loss) 

  • Convenience 

Source: Khaleej Times 

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"Dubai is regarded as one of the leading driver of Korean Beauty's growth in the Middle East"

Lauren Lee, Kbeauty Expert

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