Bargain reports and analytics

Emiratis’ cosmetics preferences

PicodiJune 30, 2020

The first mentions of make-up date back to ancient Egypt. Even then, people used the prototype of eyeliner, and both men and women wore make-up. Since that time, cosmetics and the perception of make-up itself have diametrically changed. Nowadays, trends come and go every season, and the preferences of Emirati women are constantly evolving.

How much money do Emiratis spend on cosmetics yearly? Which factors determine the purchase of cosmetics? How do women and men feel about eco cosmetics? And how do we compare to other countries? analysis team answered these and other questions related to the UAE cosmetics market.

Beauty has its price


Emirati women’s toiletry bags are quite spacious — on average, they contain as many as 23 beauty products. It is no wonder that a typical Emirati woman spends around 2,550 AED in a year on cosmetics. On the other hand, among these 23 cosmetics, only 10 are in regular use. It could be explained by the fact that 36 per cent of the surveyed women buy cosmetics when they are discounted, in reserve. 31 per cent buy cosmetics when they run out and 33 per cent whenever they feel like it.

How do Emirati women choose their cosmetics? Most of the surveyed women (71 per cent) chose price as a major factor determining the purchase. Brand of the cosmetics is crucial for 60 per cent of the surveyed respondents, and 36 per cent chose ingredients. Less important are influencers’ recommendations (21 per cent) or friends’ opinions (15 per cent).

Considering the fact that most of the respondents consider price as the most important consideration, it is not surprising that only 34 per cent of women prefer premium cosmetics, more expensive than the regular ones. 41 per cent allow themselves to buy such cosmetics occasionally, and 25 per cent don’t buy them at all. Price is also the decisive factor for choosing between regular and eco cosmetics, which became quite popular in recent years. The majority of the surveyed women (63 per cent) declared that they pick green cosmetics only when the price is reasonable. 22 per cent always buy eco cosmetics, and 15 per cent don’t have any interest in the ecological aspect of beauty products.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…


For many women, make-up is an integral part of the morning routine. However, 17 per cent of the surveyed Emirati women do not wear make-up at all. Among those who do, around one-third wears it daily. 50 per cent does make-up sometimes, and 13 per cent does it only for special occasions.

How much time do Emirati women usually spend in front of the mirror? Among the women aged 18 to 50, 51 per cent spend 5 to 15 minutes on make-up, and 17 per cent less than 5 minutes. One-third of surveyed Emirati women take much more time doing make-up — as much as half an hour.

An average women’s make-up bag contains many products, including some of the same kind. Statistically, Emirati women own 6 lipsticks, 4 lip liners, 4 blushes, 4 mascaras, 6 eyeshadows, and 6 fingernail polishes.

Through the looking glass


In the United Arab Emirates, the most popular beauty products are lipstick, foundation, eyebrow pencil, mascara and concealer, and women spend around $694 a year on cosmetics. How about our neighbours?

Saudis spend more than Emiratis — $909. Their favourite cosmetics are mascara, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, eyeliner and concealer.

Surprisingly, American women spend much less, around $330 a year. With $505 spent on cosmetics each year, women in the United Kingdom are ahead, but still behind the Emiratis.

Men vs cosmetics


How do men feel about cosmetics? First of all, they spend much less money on cosmetics than women — 1,030 AED a year, which is close to just half of the average woman’s beauty budget. They also own fewer products (11 pieces), although they only 6 use regularly. What is interesting, only 69 per cent of the surveyed men buy cosmetics by themselves — the remaining 31 per cent admits that it is mom or partner who buys cosmetics for them.

As opposed to Emirati women, men usually buy cosmetics when they run out (49 per cent). 37 per cent buy cosmetics when they are discounted, and 14 per cent when they feel like buying. Same as women, the main factor determining the choice for men is the price — 63 per cent. Still, the brand is also important (56 per cent), as well as their own preferences (29 per cent).

Emirati men are also less likely to buy premium cosmetics — 29 per cent claim that they never buy them and 35 per cent do only occasionally. When it comes to eco cosmetics, almost half of the surveyed men declared that they do not care about their ecological aspect. One-third buy such cosmetics when the price is reasonable, and 21 per cent prefer eco products no matter what.


This report was based on survey results conducted among 9300 people in 44 countries in June 2020.

Public Use

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