UAE CENSUS FINDS MALLS ACCOUNT FOR ONE THIRD OF ALL OPTICAL STORE VISITS; MIDDLE EAST OPTICAL INDUSTRY NOW WORTH EUR 2.4 BILLION
- Contact lens manufacturers to corner growth of UAE optical industry at 18th edition of Vision-X
A recent census of optician stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has revealed that the power of shopping malls to attract consumer buying behaviour is growing, with a 22% rise in the number of shopping mall-based opticians since 2014. These locations now account for one third of all optician business in the Emirates.
GfK, the global market research organisation that runs a frequent census for the UAE, also found that the demand for both prescription and beauty lenses has increased since 2016, growing 9% and 6%, respectively.
Findings from the UAE optician store census have been released ahead of the 18th edition of Vision-X, the largest exhibition for eyecare and eyewear professionals in the region which takes place from 17-19 October 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Asma Alsharif, Visions-X’s Exhibition Director said: “The results presented in the census directly correlate with the trends we’ve witnessed ahead of this year’s edition of Vision-X. There has been a significant boom in the number of contact lens manufacturers registering, as companies seek to carve out their share of the burgeoning optical industry in the Middle East, cited to be worth €2.4 billion.”
According to the census, growth slowed in the first part of 2017, especially in the Technical Consumer Goods and Eyewear sectors, while the Contact Lenses sector showed itself to be more resilient. During this period, contact lenses demand grew 4% compared to the same period in 2016, pushed up by daily contact lenses (spherical and beauty).
Ludovica Aletti, Senior Account Manager at GfK added: “Contact Lenses are an essential product and consumers are willing to invest in this market. GfK has audited contact lenses and eyewear since 2014 and we have noticed that demand is quite stable during the year with spikes during key sales seasons of July and December. Despite a slow-down in the overall eyewear market, we are seeing a demand increase for premium luxury models (those priced over 200 USD), while new features, such as combination of metal – plastic and round lenses, are also gaining share month on month.”
In addition to showcasing the latest products and designs, the Vision-X event will host a series of contact lens workshops highlighting the latest technology and techniques for delegates, offering hands-on experience and an opportunity to earn valuable CPD points for their practices.
Running alongside these workshops is the Vision-X Opticare Conference, a staple for the show, which will host experts in the fields of ophthalmology, optometry and paediatrics to discuss the latest developments and pressing issues in the industry of eyecare.
Joining as the exhibition and conference knowledge partner, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, the first overseas branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, the oldest eye hospital in the world, will lend their wealth of expertise to the show and deliver exclusive keynote presentations to attending delegates.
The conferences will take place in cooperation with the International Association of Contact Lens Educator (IACLE) and Optometry Extension Program in USA (OEP).
GfK will also share to the audience key market insights on contact lenses and eyewear market on global and local level.
Attracting more than 4,000 buyers from over 70 countries, Vision-X will showcase many of the latest brands with dedicated areas such as the Future in Focus and Retail Theatre for business owners and managers to improve their operations.
Participants can also expect returning exhibitors from local outlets, as well as from Germany and Italy, showcasing the latest designs for many of the major brands and luxury names that dominate the industry.
In addition to many European exhibitors, Vision-X will accommodate an influx of South Korean brands and manufacturers to support a growing interest from companies exhibiting trends and influences from eastern markets.
Celebrating excellence in the eyewear and optical care industry, the Vision-X Vision Plus Awards returns for the fourth year to provide a platform for leading brands to celebrate the best in business. The ceremony takes place on 18 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.