BEAUTY LESSONS FROM THE (BEAUTY WORLD) MIDDLE EAST

Dubai 2016

I have always been impulsive when it comes to travelling. I travel every chance I possibly get. However, I will admit, the Middle East wasn’t exactly on top of my bucket list. Yet, when I found myself staring at the Beauty World Middle East 2016 invite in my inbox, and a nudge from a friend, I couldn’t resist. With over 1500 beauty related exhibitors from all over the world present in one location I would surely be in for a very informative treat!

Just three weeks later I boarded my flight to Dubai, very blessed to be joined by my mom, my bookkeeper and friend Anthony (whose professional opinion I do not go without) and a potential business partner and friend, Pieter. The lessons learnt were endless! I have narrowed it down to my top three.

LESSON 1: SMALL BUSINESSES NEED TO GET ON BOARD WITH DIGITAL ADVERTISING

The statistics make it official. Digital marketing is more effective than print media. In a lecture given by Namita Romani, I learn that the three main advantages to getting on board with the fast changing world of marketing includes the following: your running costs per campaign is cheaper, your costs per lead is less and digital marketing gives you a real qualified data basis from which you can re-market. This allows business owners to access reliable data from which to test and measure marketing campaigns. Upon my return to South Africa, I take this information with me to my next ActionCOACH appointment with business coach Diederik van Niekerk and get working on my digital marketing strategy. Small businesses – salons and spa’s included – cannot afford to not get on board.

LESSON 2: GO GREEN OR GO HOME

Going green means conserving water and energy. At a lecture hosted by Theodora Kioussis, I am stunned at an alarming statistic she gives the audience. At the rate humans are going, we need ten earths to sustain our current lifestyle. The three areas in which we can actively be green are firstly, during the designing and building phase. Secondly, during refurbishments of an existing salon or spa and thirdly in the day to day operating of the salon or spa. Aspects to consider within these areas when going green are: the building location, conserving water, materials used when building and furnishing, conserving energy by using the correct lighting and insulation as well as the indoor air quality.

LESSON 3: WE ARE NEGLECTING THE MALE MARKET

We are in the age of the metro male. As we walk through the aisles of distributors in the Dubai World Trade Center sipping on our much deserved Starbucks, the message is very clear. Barbers are back. MAN-icures are in and anti-aging is now as much a concern to men as to women. The difference in our South African market is, our female needs and wants are being catered for. Those of men, are not necessarily. The gap and opportunity is there…waiting for someone to take it.

We end our trip on a positive high with a dessert safari, an absolute must when in the Middle East. I return excited, feeling informed, on a motivational boost higher than the Burj Khalifa and very much deserving of a hydrating ANESI facial!

Have you been to Dubai or experienced the beauty industry in another country? Comment below about your experience. I’d love to hear about it.

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