There is a peculiar demographic imbalance in the United Arab Emirates: for every woman in the country, there are estimated to be three men. This demographic landscape is shaped by the fact that the country is home to a huge number of seasonal workers (mostly men) from Southeast Asia and the Arab world, who work in the country and send remittances back home.
When it comes to mass men’s grooming products, products regarded as essential to hygiene, such as deodorants, soaps and shaving cream, maintained growth, whilst hand care and skin care took a hit in the challenging economy. For expatriates who hail from North America or Europe, daily use of deodorants and antiperspirants is the norm; but this is not the case for many other cultural groups in the country, although it is increasing.
There is a saying in the Middle East, “Show me your beard, and I will tell you who you are”. The region is home to various types of facial hair styles, which can often demonstrate ethnicity or even political standing.
Men’s grooming is led by well-known multinational brands such as Nivea Men, adidas, Gillette and Axe. Nevertheless, niche brands such as Man Cave UAE are trying to break into the market by offering online services and using social media to advertise their products.
Emirati men are known for their pristine look. Going back many decades, the region is actually the birthplace of “guyliner”: male kohl-rimmed eyes that help protect against desert sandstorms.
The United Arab Emirates is dominated by corporate culture, and everyone wants to excel and climb the corporate ladder; fighting the signs of ageing and fatigue are central to that. In other words, there are a growing number of men who are willing to invest in products for the perceived career advantage rather than simply vanity.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Beauty and Personal Care market research database.