Cosmetics Market in the UAE

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Cosmetic certification in the UAE is mandatory, just like for food products, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, and other categories of goods. To obtain a certificate, one must meet safety and quality requirements, wait for the results of laboratory research, and submit documents to the relevant authority. This will allow you to operate in the UAE market.

Cosmetics Market in the UAE:

According to experts' forecasts, the UAE cosmetics market will continue to grow at an average rate of 6.2% per year until at least 2028. The market volume will reach 166.3 million US dollars.

Main consumer preference trends affecting the market:

  • Formation of a new consumption model: increasing awareness and culture of cosmetics consumption;
  • Rationalization of choice, more pragmatic approach to purchasing;
  • Redistribution of income in favor of cosmetics - many save on appearance last;
  • Growing interest in products labeled Organic or Eco, recyclable packaging.

Consumption of SPF creams, anti-aging cosmetics, moisturizing lotions, makeup remover wipes, and styling products is increasing. In the UAE, as worldwide, demand for vegan, organic, and eco-friendly products is growing – this is due to increased awareness of the benefits of such cosmetics.

Key players in the UAE cosmetics market:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills – a decorative cosmetics brand. In Russia, it is considered super-luxury, while abroad, including in the UAE, it is called one of the best-selling and relatively inexpensive;
  • Huda Beauty – an Arab brand, whose founder is called the "Dubai Kardashian";
  • Shirley Conlon Organics – an organic cosmetics manufacturer that takes into account the needs of local residents and climate characteristics (the formula does not contain sun-sensitive components);
  • The Estée Lauder Companies – a company that owns the rights to use world-famous trademarks (MAC, Tom Ford, Bobby Brown), owner of brands like Clinique, Aveda;
  • Shiseido Group – a Japanese cosmetics manufacturer, one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world.

Legislation concerning cosmetics:

In the UAE, all products intended for cleansing, altering appearance, maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, mucous membranes, and oral cavity, and eliminating odors are considered cosmetics and personal care products. Products that come into direct contact with skin must be properly certified and labeled – this is how the state ensures consumer safety.

Cosmetics certification in the UAE:

For the legal sale of cosmetics in Dubai and throughout the UAE, each product must be certified by the Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority (ESMA). The certificate proves that a particular cosmetic item has passed testing and meets specified quality and safety standards.

The certificate must be obtained for cosmetic products you manufacture or import into the UAE. Distributors operating in the UAE market are also responsible for ensuring that the cosmetics they distribute comply with the relevant rules. They can apply to ESMA on their own or work with manufacturers and importers to arrange certification.

How to obtain the certificate:

To obtain the certificate, you need to apply to ESMA and attach documents. This can be done online. Preliminary product testing according to the GSO standard is required in a laboratory. Test results are valid for one year.

Minimum document package for cosmetic product certification:

  • Declaration of conformity;
  • Safety data sheet for ingredients (composition of the product, the exact content of each component in percentages);
  • Report on the conducted testing of quality and stability of the product;
  • Information on the place and conditions of cosmetic product storage;
  • Proof of exclusive distributorship (if applied by an agent).

Also, ensure that production meets audit requirements. The enterprise should have a valid license. Provide information on the quality management system, equipment layout, description of the manufacturing process, quality plan, copies of test protocols issued by an accredited laboratory.

The description of the technological process is contained in the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certificate. It is a special document describing the stages and technologies of production, main technological cycles. For example, it is necessary to detail the enterprise's working standards, quality control methods, organize a safety control system, etc.

If there is an ISO certificate, there is no need to provide a GMP. ISO proves that production meets globally accepted standards. For some types of products, a statement that the manufacturer follows international standards and norms may be sufficient.

Send the application form and all necessary documents for cosmetics certification in Dubai to ESMA for review. After checking and auditing the production, if everything is in order and there are no violations or discrepancies, you will receive the ECAS conformity certificate and the EQM quality mark.

Registration of a cosmetic product in the country is valid for one year. You can apply for renewal of registration two months before the expiration of the current certificate. The audit of the production facility is valid for three years, and it can be renewed three months before the expiration.

Certification cost:

Registration and certification of one cosmetic product will cost approximately 650 dollars if no additional testing is required. Before entering the UAE market, you will need not only to certify the product but also to obtain a trade license (about 6500 dollars), rent office and warehouse premises, obtain a resident visa, and open a bank account. On average, the costs of opening a cosmetics trading company will amount to 33-35 thousand dirhams, or 9 thousand dollars, excluding rent.

The consulting agency The Level Consulting specializes in supporting businesses in the UAE at all stages – from registration to legal support of an existing company and conducting periodic accounting and auditing. Our specialists will simplify the process and solve common problems faced by manufacturers, importers, and distributors in the industry. By using our services, you can easily and quickly undergo certification in the UAE.

Labeling and packaging of cosmetics:

The label should contain only truthful information, confirmed during the product's laboratory testing. Information can be provided in English or Arabic.

Additional requirements are applied to data such as the purpose of the product, precautions, recommendations for safe use, storage rules. All the above must be indicated in both English and Arabic on both the inner and outer labels, if any, i.e., both on the cream jar and the cardboard packaging.

If the product contains allergens exceeding a concentration of 0.001%, they must be included in the composition on the inner label.

All information on the packaging must be easily readable. It cannot be hidden by other printed or graphic materials. When indicating units of measurement, the metric system must be used. Packaging must protect the product from high temperature and humidity.

Certification of products in the UAE is mandatory. Registration in accordance with current legislation allows for the unhindered operation with certain goods: importing them into the country, placing them in warehouses, selling them. To obtain a certificate, it is necessary to understand the specifics of local legislation. Contact The Level Consulting to save time and enter the UAE market with minimal resource expenditure.

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