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Is it still profitable to open a salon in Dubai?


Being home to millions of beauty-conscious individuals who take great pride in their appearance, Dubai is the ideal place to open a salon. So much so, that the UAE cosmetics market is one of the largest in the region, with Dubai leading the way. Now, with all these salons, is it really possible to open yet another one and make a profit simultaneously? I have been asked this question many times throughout my VR Beauty Consulting journey and my answer is YES, but only if you do it the right way! In all my 20 years of experience in the beauty industry and working in Dubai, never have I seen so many salons opening at once; therefore, doing all the groundwork and preparing yourself for every curve ball is the only way it can work. Anyone can open a salon at any location but opening a salon that can generate a profit is a whole other ball game. At this time, there are about 5,000 salons in the UAE but unfortunately the majority of them are not running at a profit nor are they managed in a professional manner. In 2017, according to the Dubai Municipality, 10,815 inspections were carried out throughout the year, which resulted in the closing of 107 salons due to unhygienic working environments and practices. So, if you are looking to open a salon in Dubai, yes, there is space for it but if you have no background in running a salon business, or no beauty industry experience at all, I highly recommend that you work with a professional. This expert will be able to guide you through the process, help you build strong foundations, and set up the business properly, helping to prevent any mistakes that could ultimately ruin your venture. Knowledge is power, and in this case having knowledge about what it really takes to set up a beauty salon in the region is the key to success. Should you not want to work with a professional, the next best step is do extensive research yourself to really understand the industry and what to expect.


A big misconception about running a salon is that it is purely about customers having their hair and nails done, therefore it can’t be too difficult to set up. The fact is that it is difficult; very difficult, in fact! The hiring of a strong team of well-skilled and trained employees who are able to deliver a five-star service to your clients is one very difficult task to fulfil. It takes much time and effort that most salon owners don’t want to invest. However, having great staff is what ultimately encourages clients to return. In addition, dealing with clients on a daily basis and keeping them happy is yet another very challenging job in itself and it is important for salon owners to realize that investing time and money into hiring the right team who have people skills and can communicate well with these clients is fundamental to the success of the business. Many of the salons’ employees will come from different parts of the world where things may be done differently to what is expected in the UAE, and this is something that needs to be kept in mind and where strong training can help in the uniformity of customer service.


Understanding the financial side of the business and creating a financial plan before opening the business will greatly help in the future profitability of the business. How much is the initial investment? The last thing you want is to start running out of money before the business has even started operating. And finally, what can you expect from the business? Make sure you know exactly how much the business needs to make in order to generate a profit.


So, as I have said to many of my clients, if the research, effort, and preparation have been done beforehand, and you really are dedicated to making your salon a success, whether it be with the guidance of a professional or not, there really is no reason why it shouldn’t work! I wish you the best of luck!

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