MEA spa market valued at AED11 billion in 2016

The spa market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is valued at AED 11 billion (US$3 billion) in 2016, according to a new report.

The leisure market report prepared by Euromonitor International ahead of The Leisure Show 2016 and Piscine Middle East 2016 reveals the UAE commands more 14% of this market with a value of AED 1.59 billion ($435 million).

Rabia Yasmeen, research analyst at Euromonitor International, commented: “Hotel and resort spas are most common in this region. UAE hotels report 60% of total spa visitors are residents who are not otherwise staying on the property. Hotels are now leasing spaces for more spa related services as the demand increases.

“Compared to the US and Asia, current spa market leaders around the world, spas in the Middle East in particular are associated with more luxurious and therapeutic experiences. The trend towards health and wellness and medical tourism in this region is expanding. Health focused tourists usually spend more than 130% as compared to regular traveller as they seek such experiences as part of leisure activities. There is now greater demand for experiences ranged over two to seven nights, health and wellness programmes, meditation, cosmetic treatments, and thematic environments similar to the Asian market.”

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has previously identified Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa as the fastest growing spa markets in the world.

Euromonitor forecasts that the Middle East and Africa spa market will grow by 21.6% from 2015 until 2019. Spa openings across the region in 2016 include: Aurora Spa by Joelle at the Mövenpick Hotel Riyadh; Nikki Spa at the Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai; R Resort & Spa Palm Jumeirah; and The Oberoi, Marrakech.

In light of the spa market boom, the only event dedicated to the leisure industry in the Middle East and Africa, The Leisure Show, will be co-located for the first time in 2016 with Piscine Middle East, bringing the region’s largest pool and spa supply event to Dubai (previously held in Abu Dhabi).

On the Piscine Middle East show floor during its first day (17 September 2016; 5-6pm) a ‘Pool Vision’ contest will award “beautiful” residential, tourism and leisure pools, alongside the “most innovative” pools across the region.

On the same evening (7pm-late) the Middle East Pool and Spa Awards (MEPSA) will return for its 4th edition with 17 award categories for 2016 including: Best Innovative Body Treatment (new for 2016); Best Signature Body Treatment; Best Hotel Spa; Best Beauty Salon; Best Aqua Leisure Venue; and more.

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