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Fragrance firms offered sweet smell of success at Expo 2020 Dubai
(9 April 2017)
Arabic perfumes, bukhoor and skin care products sought


Manufacturers of Arabic perfumes, essential oils, bukhoor and other fragrances from across the GCC will have a unique global platform to showcase their talents by producing scents for Expo 2020 Dubai. 

The Expo today launched its search for producers of fragrances, from international brands to small, artisan producers in the Gulf, which could be offered to millions of visitors from around the world. 

The Middle East is renowned for its fragrances, which are deeply rooted in its culture.

In the UAE alone, the market for fragrances was estimated at AED 1.5 billion (USD 423 million) in 2015, according to figures compiled by Euromonitor International for last year’s Beautyworld Middle East exhibition. The entire Middle East and Africa beauty and personal care market – the fastest growing beauty market in the world – had a retail value of AED 100 billion (USD 27.1 billion).

Expo 2020 Dubai is offering producers of Arabic fragrances a unique chance to tap into not only that market but also the millions of people from outside the region who will visit the destination during the six months from October 2020 to April 2021.

The products will be sold at selected outlets across the UAE, including dedicated Expo retail stores, as well as at the Expo 2020 Dubai site itself when its doors open in October 2020.

This is the third of up to 40 licensed product categories put out to tender by Expo following the launch of campaigns to find manufacturers of souvenirs and food products. 

Najeeb Al-Ali, Executive Director, Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai will be a global destination and we are looking for fragrance producers from around the world to come forward as we want a range of scented items that will reflect the varied tastes of our millions of visitors.

“However, this is also the first World Expo in Middle East, Africa and South Asia, so we also want products to reflect our heritage as well.

“This region is famous for its perfumes, it is ingrained in our traditions. We want people who visit Expo 2020 Dubai from around the world to experience these amazing aromas and take home with them a scent of Arabia.”

As well as perfumes, Expo 2020 Dubai is also looking for suppliers of essential oils, bukhoor and skin care products.

One producer may even get the honour of making a distinctive scent just for Expo, both for men and women.

The tender process for becoming a licensed fragrance producer for Expo 2020 is fully online and open to businesses of any size from anywhere in the world. The initial stage – for companies to register their interest – closes on April 20, 2017. 

Through its licensing programme, Expo 2020 Dubai will accept tenders for more than 5,000 products.

SMEs are actively encouraged to participate in the programme, and to tender for every product category that is relevant to their business. The Expo organisers will tailor flexible terms to ensure profitability and equal opportunity for companies of all scales.

By becoming Expo licensees, SMEs have a unique opportunity to strengthen their product offering, develop their brand and expand their scope to reach new global audiences.

Najeeb Al-Ali added: “Fragrances have become a huge global market and we are looking for firms that want to stand out from the crowd.

“In particular, we hope to give smaller, local artisan producers in the UAE and GCC a chance to share a global platform with international brands, showcasing their unique products.

“Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to supporting SMEs in the region, both during the six months it is running and after the doors close.”

To register an interest in producing Expo-branded products, businesses should visit

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