Last week was spent in Abu Dhabi for the Spa Meeting event, which is a “buyer-supplier meeting”, with one-to-one meetings. I find this a very efficient way of meeting interesting companies in the industry and I actually prefer this type of meetings rather than large trade shows or fairs.
This event is very well organized, and the whole process starts with a selection procedure, where you can select the ones you wish to meet. As I attended as a buyer I could select among suppliers for spa equipment, skin care brands, distributors in the Middle East for various brands, equipment and advanced beauty equipment, recruitment companies etc.
All suppliers are active on the Middle East and India market and all buyers either have projects in Middle East or work as hotel operators or spa directors in the region. This event is also a great opportunity for networking and picking up new trends in the region where the event takes place.
I had great meetings and discussions with so many, but among them it is always inspiring to talk to Sammy Gharieni, from the Gharieni group. They produce high end medical- and spa furniture, equipment and treatment tables, and he has always new innovations and creative solutions and design to spa equipment and furniture.
I also met several interesting and rather new cosmetic brands, among them an organic and natural face care brand for men; 66˚30. The packaging looked great and we have searched for a great skin care range for men for a long time, so my male colleagues are eagerly waiting to test these products. I also discovered another brand where I predict they will have a successful future; Gazelli , from Azerbaijan. I met Jamila, the daughter of the founder; Dr Hamzeayeva, and she told me about the premium brand that can already be found in Harrods in London. The products are based on natural resources from their native Azerbaijan and the base is an exclusive “White Oil”.
This year we had the opportunity to listen to Elias Chabtini , CEO for Medica, a company which provides spas with the latest advanced beauty equipment in the Gulf region, Middle East and Asia. Mr Chabtini spoke about the big Medi spa trend in the Middle East and the importance for result orientated treatments in this region. He also highlighted the fact that there are more woman than men in the Middle East, they travel more and more and are highly aware of new beauty techniques and treatments that can be found abroad, and they want to have the same services in their countries. Skilled therapists are also highly sought after in the region.
I was lucky to have a couple of free hours to spend in Abu Dhabi before my flight took off to the snow covered Stockholm (talk about contrasts), so I decided to also catch some of the local culture and ambiance and went to the mosque in Abu Dhabi. It was a spectacular and beautiful place all open to the public, it is impossible to catch the beauty of it on a picture, but it was all white, enormous and the beauty inside was impressing without being overwhelming.
I also managed to find some time to experience the spa (ESPA) at the hotel Yas Viceroy, but more about that in my next post….What is a spa, placed almost right on a Formula 1 course, like????
Happy reunion with Sammy Gharieni, Victoria Dello Ioio from Shiseido, me and Christine Hays from Oberoi Hotels.