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Top cosmetic firms open offices in Dubai

Dubai, August 16, 2008

Spurred by a healthy growth in the Middle East cosmetics and personal care sector, a record ten global cosmetic majors have set up branch offices in the Dubai Airport Free Zone in recent months.

The sector is estimated at 12 per cent annually over the past three years, with a sales value of Dh7.7 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2007.

Some of the top names in the glamorous world of cosmetics and fragrance are increasingly targeting the prosperous economies of the UAE and the Gulf countries.

Prominent among those that have chosen Dubai Airport Free Zone as a base include Chanel Limited, Clarins Groupe (Middle East) (Branch), Estee Lauder Middle East, P & G Cosmopolitan Cosmetics (Branch), Perfumes Loewe Middle East (Branch), Guerlain Middle East (Branch), Revlon Middle East (Branch), Parfums Givenchy Middle East (Branch), Parfums Christian Dior (Branch), and Elizabeth Arden (Middle East).

’Cosmetics and fragrance companies are being lured by the tax free and 100 per cent ownership incentives being offered by the Dubai Airport Free Zone.

’A new trend we are seeing is that quite a number of these companies are coming and setting up Middle East regional offices in Dubai’s Airport Free Zone,’ said Dr Mohammed Al Zarouni, director general, Dubai Airport Free Zone.

’Advantages of setting up a regional office at the Dubai Airport Free Zone include our location adjoining the Dubai Airport and the easy access to the state-of-the-art Dubai Cargo Village.

’These factors are proving to be particularly attractive to companies that depend on time-sensitive shipments. We also have a one-stop-shop where investors can get all their documentation for licensing, registration and employee sponsorship done, even online,’ Dr Zarouni added.

Estee Lauder’s decision to open initially a branch office, and more recently, a Free Zone company, was a ’well thought one,’ said Didier Picard, vice president and general manager of Estee Lauder Mideast.

’Besides offering a second to none infrastructure in Dubai, Dubai Airport Free Zone was the ideal place to grow a team of professionals from all over the world to promote our selective cosmetic brands across the Middle East and further.’

Picard also said over the last few years, ’Dubai and the GCC in general has become visible at headquarters level. This is due to the impressive growth experienced in the region but also more importantly, due to top world class standards achieved in terms of logistics infrastructure, and of course in our industry, retailing environment.’

He added that services and facilities at the Free Zone ’have grown rapidly over the past years, resulting in an improvement of the support to companies like ours.’

Bruno Tissot, general manager of Elizabeth Arden Middle East said opening an entity abroad, independently of its size or its mother company structure ’is always an exercise that starts with a blank sheet.

’The priority of course is based on the reliability of the project but we all have this first tendency to always take into account existing business ties and links together with resources and or costs related to them.’

’By definition a blank sheet allows thinking and moving out of the box and the identification of opportunities with no existing ties or constraints.’

Tissot emphasised that the Dubai Airport Free Zone is offering international companies ’unlimited business opportunities with a limited amount of constraints at an acceptable cost level.’

On the importance of the Dubai and GCC market to Elizabeth Arden, Tissot explained ’as for the actors present in this industry, the GCC is not only a booming market but also a profitable region. Dubai definitely acts as a trend setter and influences its neighbouring countries both in consumption and distribution network infrastructure.’

Osama Rinno, managing director of Clarins Groupe underlined that the<


Tags: Sales | Cosmetics | sector | Dubai free zone |

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