DUBAI: Like Korean pop, Korean beauty products also have many takers in the UAE.
Recently, Seoul’s Etude House that opened a store in Dubai Mall saw over 300 people waiting outside its doors to try its products.
The outlet located on the first floor is the flagship store of the brand in the Middle East.
“We are very overwhelmed by the response we’ve received here. Customers queued up outside our store for more than two hours before our grand opening on March 22. Looks like everyone loves Korean brands in this region,” said a spokesperson from Etude House.
According to her, almost every customer knew about the brand’s offerings and signature products.
The Face Shop, another Korean beauty brand that has been in the UAE since it opened its first store in the Mall of the Emirates in 2008, has a loyal clientele.
“Our customer demographics depend on our store locations, but Asians followed by Arabs make up most of our buyers. While we’ve always had a good run in the UAE with our 21 stores, our sales figures have doubled since 2016,” said Rajesh Bhaskaran, operations manager at The Face Shop.
The range of products available is diverse. Beauty retailer Sephora Middle East stocks at least 11 Korean skincare brands at its stores in the UAE.
“Recently, we partnered with six big brands, including Too Cool for School, Dr Jart+ and Skinfood. Taking a cue from our customer feedback, we are glad to have aligned with the beauty industry and provide what people are looking for,” said Ghada Khoury, head of marketing at Sephora Middle East.
According to beauty experts, Korean products are increasingly becoming a favourite with UAE women as they mainly use organic ingredients.
“Whether it’s hair care or skin care, it’s all natural. I particularly love the egg foam face wash from Too Cool for School, as my skin feels very different after I use it,” said a college student.
Online retailers claim that they are also registering a growth in sales.
For instance, Ja Timothy, general manager at www.BeautyKoreaDubai.com, which houses 12 Korean brands, said the online retailer has seen a huge uptick in sales from the few orders they got in the initial week.
The cost of the products is said to be another factor.
Value for money
Dubai-based makeup artist, Gulnaz Najmi said Korean cosmetics are ‘value for money’.
“German and Italian products have long dominated the UAE market, but Korean brands are now becoming increasingly popular. Some products are not only better, they are also way cheaper,” said Najmi.