Perfumes & Cosmetics

Cosmetics are big business here, from local scents like frankincense and oud, to the latest designer offerings. Local fragrances tend to be strong and spicy – you can often locate the stores by the smell of the incense they burn in their doorways.

Department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Debenhams, as well as local chains such as Areej and Paris Gallery stock the most comprehensive ranges of international brand perfumes and cosmetics. Larger supermarkets and pharmacies stock skincare products and some makeup. Anti-allergenic ranges are available at some of the larger pharmacies.

Most needs are covered but if yours aren’t, specialist retailers often have online shopping facilities or you may find products available at your local beauty clinic. has an online cosmetics store, and also runs a service where, for a certain amount each month, they deliver a box of samples for you to try.

Prices for perfumes and cosmetics are similar to those in some other countries, although certain nationalities might find perfume is cheaper here than in their home country. There are no sales taxes, so there is rarely a difference between duty free and shopping mall prices.

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