While in many countries sales of sunglasses are weather dependent, it is sunny almost all year round in the United Arab Emirates, which means that sunglasses are considered a must for most people due to the United Arab Emirates lifestyle. Increasing participation in outdoor activities during the non-summer months should also be a favourable factor for increased growth.
The United Arab Emirates saw a great deal of interest in fast fashion sunglasses that mimic the look of high-end offerings at a tiny fraction of the price. Top Shop, for example, is successfully targeting younger consumers with fashionable designs, competitive prices, brand promotions and social media marketing.
In a similar fashion to brand name fragrances, sunglasses have become the gateway to luxury at high but affordable prices, especially for millennials or generation Z. There are opportunities for luxury brands to reach out to new consumer segments, who are fashion-conscious but cannot afford bags, footwear or clothing from these brands.
The uber-luxury Fashion Avenue in Dubai Mall saw the launch of Gentle Monster in May 2019, opening its first flagship store in the Middle East. Known for its outrageous store décor (the entrance of the store features a human-like Korean female robot levitating), the brand features a variety of fashionable sunglasses, which are often favourites of K-pop celebrities and Hollywood A-listers.
Owing to Ray-Ban’s strong brand presence and foothold in the United Arab Emirates, it has continued to retain its leadership position in sunglasses. It has a very strong distribution network and is available through most optical shops as well as via online retailers like souq.
With limited regional players manufacturing these products, sunglasses in the United Arab Emirates is dominated by international players as well as international brands. Furthermore, consumers in the United Arab Emirates are highly brand conscious when it comes to sunglasses, with brand names such as Chanel, Dior and Gucci being coveted, especially among aspirational luxury consumers who want to purchase a luxury product.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our sunglasses market research database.