Chalhoub Group releases report on GCC beauty shopping


The GCC beauty market is experiencing a shift in perception from European ideals to embracing Arabic beauty and Middle Eastern features, according to Chalhoub Group’s comprehensive beauty report Decoding the Beauty Consumer in the GCC.

The report, published by the UAE-based luxury conglomerate, decodes consumer behaviour, preferences and emerging trends within the beauty category in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Consumers now prefer lighter cosmetic adjustments that augment their individual beauty and focus more on bringing out the inner beauty encompassing health, well-being and self-esteem, which all influence external appearance. 

While most beauty categories in the GCC are led by female shoppers who spend on average 55 per cent more than men, fragrance remains an exception where men tend to shop 20 per cent more frequently, spending 11 per cent more.

When it comes to disparities within the region, UAE women see themselves as trendsetters with exposure to various brands, while Saudi women are highly engaged makeup and fragrance users, drawing inspiration from social media. Kuwaiti women, on the other hand, are particularly attentive to social media beauty trends and prioritise maintaining a hydrated and healthy skin appearance.

The methodology of the study included a quantitative study with 2,600 beauty consumers, a four-day ethnography with 30 participants and more than 15 expert interviews.

Chief strategy officer at Chalhoub Group, Jasmina Banda, said: “Chalhoub Group conducted the most extensive consumer beauty study ever undertaken in the GCC. 

“The primary finding from our study reveals that our consumers associate beauty not solely with physical appearance but also with their overall well-being and inner feelings.

“This has paved the way for a new generation of brands that prioritise more than just traditional product effectiveness. These brands now extend their focus to encompass the holistic well-being of their customers.” 

Overall, the paper highlights a shift in beauty perception in the GCC market from European ideals to embracing Arabic beauty and Middle Eastern features.