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Why is luxury so successful in the Middle East?

Why is luxury so successful in the Middle East?

Home to the world’s most luxurious and technologically advanced hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and much more, Dubai is one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East. Egypt is bursting with majestic history and is most famous for its pyramids and the pharaohs who are buried inside them (draped in gold). Jordan was home to “Lawrence of Arabia” where hospitality is a strong part of the culture, and Oman is considered the paradise of the Middle East.


The one thing that all Middle Eastern countries have in common is their reputation and penchant for luxury. Although each country has its own unique history, every single one of them is known for the opulence with which their past is colored . From the ostrich eggs and feathers enjoyed by the Ancient Egyptians to the heavy jewelry that they wore and which many of them were buried in.

According to data published by the World Bank, Qatar is currently the richest country in the Middle East, and the fourth richest country in the world. It has a distinct advantage over the three countries ranked higher (Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Singapore), which comes in the form of massive reserves of hydrocarbons and other natural resources.

A recent article in the Financial Times called Dubai the new Hong Kong, stated that Saudi Arabia would be next. So, with all this wealth, the inhabitants of these countries are able to satisfy their taste for the opulence which has long been a part of their heritage, inviting the rest of the world to come and partake.

Global head of luxury at Boston Consulting Group, Sarah Willersdorf has said that she has seen “considerable growth and investing in the region” in response to a change in retail investment policy, which allows foreigners to establish companies there with full, rather than minority, ownership. This spurred massive growth in the shopping hub of Dubai, which is attracting tourists from all over the world for luxury shopping trips.

On a given day, customers from as many as 30 different countries shop at the Dubai mall.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has firmly established itself as a top destination for high-end shopping, and the general feeling is that it won’t be long before the Kingdom becomes a future luxury capital of the Middle East. Economies in the region are diversifying, and as consumers’ income is on the rise, so is their spending on luxury products. Not surprisingly, global luxury brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel have opened flagship stores, while others (Prada, Tiffany, and Mulberry) have increased their presence.

According to a report by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group, the Saudi luxury market size reached $8.3 billion in 2022, and is expected to reach $15.8 billion by 2028.

The Gen Z factor

The growing demand for luxury is apparently being driven by affluent groups, such as Gen Z, female consumers, and wealthy tourists.

According to Euromonitor International’s data, the Kingdom was home to 117,000 millionaires in 2022, which is a considerable number of ultra-high-net worth individuals. This is alongside a large Gen Z population who support the sector, as luxury shoppers around the world are getting younger.

Throughout the Middle East, retailers continue to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviors, as a younger, yet demanding demographic leverages their purchasing power. Unique offerings boasting excellent service quality, premium, and personalized experiences, as well as constant innovation, are winning consumers’ loyalty in the region.

The increasing participation of women in the workforce and recent social changes further support consumers’ appetite for luxury, adding that the boom in tourism, in particular luxury travel, will be an asset in developing the luxury market throughout the Middle East.

Luxury brands now offer curated capsule collections for Ramadan, which are promoted through collaborations with influencers and social media personalities. The most recent example was Laverne’s (Arabian fragrance brand) collaboration with Georgina Rodriguez. As the Middle East expands its leisure and entertainment infrastructure to bring it on par with its already world-class consumer lifestyle, the demand for luxury shows no sign of stopping.

In this part of the world, creativity knows no bounds, and its rich cultural heritage has been an inspiration to many artists from all corners of the globe. If you are looking to hone your creative talents and turn them into a successful career, the best thing to do is secure yourself a good foundation. The right education can set you on a path to use your skills in a business context so that you are equipped to navigate the highly competitive luxury industry successfully. Combined with your own personal talent, an education from a highly respected institute, taught by experienced professionals, can offer you a competitive edge.

Istituto Marangoni, Dubai

In September 2022, International Design School Istituto Marangoni inaugurated its new campus in Dubai. A creative melting pot of Italian heritage, UAE tradition, and international influences, its campus is located inside the Dubai International Financial Centre, and offers a variety of undergraduate and professional courses in Fashion, and the various branches of design. All the courses are taught by the Institute’s team of professionals from Italy.

The school of design at Istituto Marangoni offers an exciting opportunity to fuse Italian expertise with local talent, with a view to shaping the future of the UAE fashion, design, and creative industries. Its strategic partnerships and international outlook make Istituto Marangoni the ideal place to develop your skills and learn from industry experts. With its unique network of international schools, Istituto Marangoni also offers enriching study abroad opportunities for students looking to broaden their horizons in every sense. We offer a wide range of courses, and whilst the links below are Fashion and Luxury specific, there are many other paths that Istituto Marangoni can help you pursue.

For information and advice about this and any other courses on offer, please feel free to get in touch and one of our experts will be happy to guide you.


Professional course à Fashion Luxury Retail & Visual Merchandising Istituto Marangoni Dubai
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