Dubai: People often try to save money by eating out less or buying clothes when they go on sale. But when it comes to their beauty and personal care products, nothing gets sacrificed.

“It is the only industry that is not having a recession,” said Mattia Miglio, International Affairs Manager at Bologna Fiere Cosmoprof, an international Italian exhibition for cosmetics.

The expo is being held in three cities: Bologna in Italy, which is the global version, Las Vegas for the American region, and Hong Kong for the Asian markets.

Speaking to Gulf News on the sideline of a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday evening, Mattia said the global exhibition has been witnessing a steady grow in the past years reflecting a continuous growth in that market. Last year, the size of the cosmetic market worldwide hit $43 billion (Dh158 billion).

The UAE is no exception. The estimated total market size of cosmetics, which include fragrances, colour cosmetics, skin care, men’s grooming, hair care, bath and showers, deodorants, and sun care, is around Dh7.5 billion, said Gianpaolo Bruno, Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan in a presentation.

Quoting Euromonitor International figures, Bruno added that the per capita expenses in beauty and personal care has also increased from Dh629.50 in 2010 to Dh877.20 in 2015.

More and more people are showing an interest in organic products, and an increasing number of brands are highlighting their products with natural ingredients, he added.

International companies continue to dominate the beauty and personal care products in 2015. However, there is a growing presence to local Emirati fragrance companies on the list of top 10. Companies, including Arabian Oud and Abdul Samad Al Qurashi are on the list, Bruno continued.

At the same time, international brands, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace, Jo Marone, Valentino and others are producing fragrances with an Arabian touch. There are new products mixed with Al Oud, a famous fragrance popular in the Gulf that has a sweet and woody scent.

International companies are realising the importance of taking into consideration the local taste in aiming to increase their market, said Nouf Ahmad Alabd, Senior Executive at the Exporter Services Division at Dubai Exports.

Speaking to Gulf News, Nouf said during the first half of 2016, Dubai imports of cosmetics totalled Dh6 billion, compared to 807 million in exports, and Dh3.3 billion of re-exports.

Saudi Arabia’s market receives nearly 21 per cent of Dubai’s cosmetics exports, as the demand is very high in Saudi, she explained.

Local fragrances companies of Rasasi and Al Haramain Perfumes LLC are among most well-known growing companies, she explained.

It is estimated that nearly 80 per cent of 9.3 million population of UAE are expatriates from all over the world.

Therefore, the demand is for different products.

He added that more than half of the machinery and ingredients of cosmetics are Italian made.