Region/Countries: Africa and the Middle East, United Arab Emirates Industry: Other Date: March 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Scented candles and other fragrance delivery systems are in demand as the home care and spa and leisure industries grow.

Candles are an efficient fragrance delivery system, and recent research has shown a surge in demand for scented candles. Barbara Miller, the spokesperson for the National Candle Association in the U.S., states that the scented candle market may have initially been concentrated in North America, but it is now witnessing immense global expansion.

Fatemah Sherif, research analyst for Euromonitor International, reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “air care” market is currently dominated by a growth in consumer appetites for scented candles. According to her, popular scents among UAE nationals and Arab expatriates in the UAE include the Arabian fragrance (Oud), with other nationalities preferring lavender, chocolate, cinnamon, sandalwood and vanilla.

The ideal market positioning and distribution of scented candles in the UAE can be done via two channels: the home care industry, and the spa and leisure industry.

The home care industry within the UAE has recorded positive sales over the last five years, with the trend expected to continue for the forecast period of 2014-2019. Drivers for this include the increase in influx of expatriates to the country, creating a larger pool of customers with tastes for both general and specialist homecare products. The boost in the UAE’s economy has helped increase the disposable income of expatriates and residents, and both of these consumer groups are now spending heavily on home care products that were not deemed essential in the past.

The spa and leisure industry in the UAE has grown tremendously in the recent past, and is expected to continue to grow at an annual growth rate of 17.9 percent, according to statistics provided by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). GWI further predicts that the industry will witness the influx of approximately 1 million visitors between 2012 and 2017; these visitors are expected to travel to the country to indulge themselves in the luxury and tranquility provided by the industry. This rapid growth has resulted in a wave of spas, resorts and leisure chains being established in the region, serving as an oasis in the desert. The UAE spa and leisure hub is expected to generate revenues of $411 million by the end of 2015 and approximately $495 million by 2019.

Within the UAE, Dubai serves as the top performing spa and leisure market, supported by its chain of luxury hotels and spas. The city boasts some of the most renowned names in spas and hotels, and provides customers with a wide array of options. These establishments attract international, as well as local, visitors who are eager to experience the pleasures offered by the spa and leisure industry.