From Arabianbusiness.com : “Middle East beauty industry to hit $2.9bn in 2009”

Excerpt:

According to official statistics, the sales of cosmetics and perfumes across the Middle East touched $2.1 billion last year.

The sector enjoys the highest per capita consumption in the region with an average purchase of around $334 (AED1,227) per person.

The largest market is Saudi Arabia estimated to be worth more than AED7.3 billion, while the industry is expected to exceed AED3.3billion in the UAE by the end of next year, according to EPOC Messe Frankfurt, organisers of the Beauty World Middle East.

UAE = United Arab Emirates.

It’s too bad that the article does not mention specifics about best selling products. A close friend, who is now living in Dubai, tells me about the incredible popularity of skin whitening creams – perceived to give darker skinned women a boost in their careers and love life, just like in India.

Also, plastic surgery is rampant in the Middle East, amongst wealthy, upper crust women: the most popular procedure? Rhinoplasty (nose jobs) to give them a more “Western” appearance. Botox and liposuction are also on high demand.

Watch the commercial from Fair & Lovely for their Middle Eastern market:

(Remember: Fair & Lovely is owned by Unilever, the parent company of Dove and its “Real Beauty” products. For more on Dove’s hypocrisy and duplicity, check out this older post.)