The jewelry market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a dynamic and thriving sector, with a strong focus on luxury and high-end products. In 2021, the market value of jewelry in the UAE reached $2.777 billion USD, with fine jewelry accounting for nearly 94% of the total, compared to costume jewelry. Despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, both the UAE and the region are poised to recover pre-COVID-19 jewelry sector values by 2023. The pandemic significantly impacted key sectors of the UAE’s economy, particularly in Dubai, which has established itself as a regional hub for logistics, trade, and tourism. The country’s GDP contracted by 6.1% in 2020 compared to the previous year, but a recovery is underway, with a growth rate of 5.3% expected for 2022. The Dubai 2020 World Expo, postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 crisis, successfully attracted over 24 million visitors during its six-month duration. This positive outcome indicates the recovery of tourists who contribute significantly to luxury sector sales, accounting for 60% of total sales.
Demographics and Consumer Profile
The population of the UAE exhibits significant disparities in purchasing power, with only 25-30% considered the target audience for fine jewelry. The local Emirati population (12% of the total inhabitants) boasts high purchasing power and tends to buy jewelry in Europe. However, due to the pandemic and limitations on tourism, domestic purchases have increased. The consumer base for jewelry in the UAE is diverse, including local Emiratis, Indian expatriates, Western expatriates, Russian and Chinese tourists, among others. Jewelry is considered a form of investment and savings, particularly among local Emiratis and Indians.
Market Segmentation and Trends
The jewelry market in the UAE is characterized by a significant dominance of fine jewelry (93.9% in 2021), which includes jewelry designed for special occasions, compared to costume jewelry (6.1%). The growth in both categories has been relatively linear over the past five years.
Table 1: Evolution of Jewelry Sales by Category (2016-2021)
|Category||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||Market Share 2021|
Materials and Imports
Gold is the dominant material in the UAE’s jewelry market, accounting for 75.2% of the total market value. Platinum (10.3%) and combinations of various metals (9.9%) also play significant roles. The rest of the market is shared between silver jewelry (4.2%) and other materials (0.3%). The UAE is a major importer of jewelry, precious stones, and precious metals, making it the second-largest import category in the country.
Table 2: Demand for Fine Jewelry by Material (2021)
|Category||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||Market Share 2021|
|Combination of Metals||8.8%||9%||9.5%||9.8%||10%||9.9%||9.9%|
Major Players and Competition
The UAE’s jewelry market is highly competitive, with a trend towards multi-brand jewelers that cater to various segments of the population. Major players include local manufacturers and distributors like Damas LLC (18.7% market share), Joyalukkas (8.7%), Malabar Gold (5.8%), Kalyan Jewellers (4.6%), and international brands like Cartier (5.1%). The market is also fragmented, with numerous international brands holding smaller market shares.
Table 3: Market Share of Major Players in 2021
|Major Players||Market Share 2021|
Opportunities and Future Outlook
The UAE’s jewelry market presents opportunities for brands that focus on high-end and luxury jewelry with strong brand identities and innovative designs. The market is expected to show moderate growth over the next five years, with fine jewelry maintaining a greater share
f the market compared to costume jewelry. The market’s seasonality is influenced by periods of sales, major religious celebrations like Eid al Fitr and Diwali, as well as significant events such as weddings and school vacations. The influx of tourists also plays a crucial role in the high-end and luxury jewelry sector, with peak tourist seasons occurring from October to May.
Jewelry distribution in the UAE primarily occurs through multi-brand jewelers, which are often specialized stores or departments within department stores. These establishments cater to various consumer segments based on purchasing power and product preferences. Despite the growing interest in online commerce, jewelry purchases still largely take place in physical stores due to the high value of the products. Notably, Dubai’s shopping malls play a significant role in the country’s retail landscape, attracting both tourists and residents.
Regulatory and Non-regulatory Barriers
Entering the UAE jewelry market involves certain regulatory considerations, including the requirement for an import license to clear customs and introduce products into the country. The Union Customs Tariff of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) imposes a 5% ad valorem tariff on imports. Additionally, a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to all jewelry products.
Fairs and Events
Participating in jewelry fairs and events is an effective way to access the UAE market and connect with potential partners and customers. Some notable events include:
- Mideast Watch & Jewellery Show 2022: Held from March 23 to 27, 2022, at Expo Centre Sharjah, Dubai, UAE. Website: Mideast Watch & Jewellery Show
- JWS International Jewellery & Watch Show Abu Dhabi 2022: Scheduled from November 9 to 13, 2022, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi, UAE. Website: JWS Abu Dhabi
- Jewellery, Gem & Technology Dubai (JGT Dubai) 2023: Taking place from February 12 to 14, 2023, at Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE. Website: JGT Dubai
- Bride Show 2022: Held from February 9 to 12, 2022, at Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE. Website: Bride Show
For further insights and information on the UAE’s jewelry market, consider referring to:
- “The Jewelry Magazine”: The Jewelry Magazine
- “Vogue Arabia”: Vogue Arabia
- “Harper’s Bazaar Arabia”: Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
- “Emirates Woman”: Emirates Woman
Prominent organizations and authorities in the jewelry sector include:
- Dubai Gold and Diamond Park: Gold and Diamond Park
- Dubai International Jewellery Week: Jewellery Show
- Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange: DGCX
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre: DMCC
In conclusion, the UAE’s jewelry market offers opportunities for high-end and luxury brands with innovative designs and strong brand identities. While the market is competitive, targeting specific consumer segments and aligning with local preferences can lead to success. Participation in industry events and fairs can facilitate market entry and networking.