An export contract, intensive talks with contractor and the establishment of a Polish company – these are the recent results of Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) Foreign Trade Office in Dubai to promote the cosmetics industry in the UAE

Published: Thu 10 Nov 2022, 9:16 AM

The UAE is one of the largest and most dynamically developing cosmetics markets in the Middle East. More is spent here on cosmetics than in any other country in the MENA region, i.e. about $247 per capita, which places the UAE in the top 10 global markets in terms of spending on this category. This can be attributed to not only the large population and tourist activity, but also due to the aspiration of being the regional center of the cosmetics industry.

“The growing awareness of consumers regarding the impact of organic products on health has been reflected in the sale of such cosmetics. More and more people, especially women, are inclined to look for and use personal and beauty care products with natural, organic or vegan ingredients. It is also worth noting that among 15 Muslim countries, the UAE is the leader when it comes to size, in the category pharmaceutical and halal cosmetics market. One of the leading trends is also the growing importance of the premium products segment. On the other hand, the demand for hemp cosmetics is also growing. The government in Dubai is the first in the Arab world to certify such products,” explains Patrycja Lisikiewicz from PAIH’s office in Dubai.

Polish cosmetics are currently sold in 170 countries. The top three Polish export products are ones for beautifying and skin care, perfumes and toilet waters as well as pastes, powders and liquids for cleaning teeth. These, as well as other products, reach countries even as far away from Poland as Japan, Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea.

The UAE is the 28th export market for cosmetics from Poland. According to GUS data, Polish exports of scented oils, perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries to the UAE in 2021 amounted to over $38.7 million (an increase of 9.3% y-on-y). Emirati consumers are inclined towards Polish make-up and skin care products, as well as oral hygiene and hair care products.

Every second cosmetic produced in Poland is exported. In the face of the Ukraine crisis, Polish manufacturers need new markets. According to economists, expansion into the markets of Asia and Oceania may be a remedy for these problems and generate growth for the Polish cosmetics industry until 2027. More and more Polish companies are looking with curiosity towards the Middle East. This is a good experimental market, where “Made in Poland” products, including cosmetics, have already gained positive branding, according to Blanka Chmurzyńska-Brown, Director of the Polish Association of the Cosmetic Industry.

Finding potential customers, information about the product registration process and the verification of business partners – this is mainly what Polish entrepreneurs ask PAIH’s experts in the Dubai Foreign Trade Office. In 2022 alone, the office served 47 Polish cosmetics companies, supporting their efforts in expanding into the UAE market. One of the promotional activities PAIH organised for them were two editions of The Beauty Showroom. Both events were attended by 40 Polish producers and dozens of local partners representing distribution companies and retail chains. The spring edition of the event resulted in the signing of an export contract by Yope and the decision to establish a company by one of the Polish manufacturers. In turn, thanks to PAIH’s efforts, the manufacturer of innovative make-up removal gloves GLOV has increased its possibilities on the market and strengthened its network of contacts, which may turn into specific orders and a permanent presence on the UAE market.

YOPE products are already available in SUPER CARE Pharmacy stores and in two concept stores are run by this chain – Arabella Pharmacy and Good Health. YOPE’s range of products on store shelves includes 27 items, including soaps, lotions, shower gels, hand creams, a line of children’s products and a range of hair cosmetics.

Expansion into the Middle East market was associated with the fulfillment of a number of demanding conditions and formalities. However, the organisation is aware of the specifics of the industry in this region. Cosmetics are classified here as ‘halal’ and have been produced in a way that does not harm either the environment or animals. “YOPE products naturally meet these requirements both in terms of ingredients and the production process,” explains Jacek Mijakowski, Director of YOPE’s Export Department. He adds: “YOPE has actively cooperated with PAIH for many years, expanding and creating new development opportunities for the brand. We are very grateful for this, because with the cooperation and commitment of many of PAIH’s foreign trade offices, we were able not only to establish, but also to develop business on many foreign markets.”

“Middle East markets have always looked interesting for our products. Our product is multicultural, which is why it fits so well into the customer profile of the UAE market. We participated in the fair organised by PAIH – Beauty Sample Showroom, where GLOV and range was presented to local distributors and stores. After the event, we received a database of interested customers and established contact with them. We are in the middle of final negotiations with a large distributor from the UAE. Our wide range of cosmetic products fits very well into the Middle East market and we hope to consistently develop our brand there,” Ewa Dudzic, co-owner of GLOV, stated.

Interest in the Middle East market is growing among Polish cosmetics manufacturers from year to year. This is clear to see by the number of Polish companies participating in trade fairs such as the BeautyWorld Middle East 2022 took place from October 31 to November 2.

“BeautyWorld Middle East is the region’s largest international trade fair for the cosmetics industry, attracting several hundred exhibitors from over 50 countries around the world. The event has been attracting buyers from all over the world for years and is a fantastic opportunity to promote original products and discover new opportunities for expansion. This year, among other things, thanks to the National Stand we organised, there was over 70 Polish companies. Our entrepreneurs were able to count on the support of experts from PAIH’s office in Dubai and the Polish Association of the Cosmetic Industry and they took part in 30 pre-arranged B2B meetings with local distributors and retail chains,” added Lisikiewicz.

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