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The United Arab Emirates is showing solid growth within the beauty and wellness industry. According to Euromonitor International consumers in the UAE are expected to spend $294 per capita on personal grooming by 2020, more than any other country in the Middle East, and will rank ninth worldwide. Growth is primarily being driven by a young and aspirational population, who are investing in personal grooming and beauty treatments. The UAE is the largest beauty and wellness market in the region not only owing to its big population and tourism, but also to its approach of becoming a local hub for the beauty and skin care industry.
Soon to be launched NuMe is a mobile application where customers and service providers are brought together to make it easier for everyone to navigate through the options using their phone in few clicks. Users can ﬁnd their preferable salons, spas, gyms, and can book online any service they need and reserve the appointment in few clicks. We speak to Mohamed Fouda, CEO at NuMe to find out how this new venture will change the way customers find their favorite spas and salons.
BBJ: Tell us about NuMe, and how you came to develop the application from concept to completion?
MF: I like to travel, I have been to North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia. However, when I travel and decide to have a massage, get a haircut or even go to a gym, it has always been difficult to discover what is close to me, the prices, or even business timings. This can get even more challenging for women when the are trying to locate reliable beauty services within a city.
Dubai has one of the biggest beauty and wellness industry’s in the region and attracts millions of tourists and visitors each year, so it occurred to me, wouldn’t it be awesome if we had an application for the beauty industry that could serve both residents and visitors who are looking to find local beauty treatments and services? An application that would take the stress out of booking an appointment in a salon or spa, helping customers navigate the options within the market, where they can easily find services, prices and availability in amongst local businesses, just like there are solutions for booking hotels, flights, and even local transportation. This is where the idea was born, out of that significant demand. I have spoken to many people in the market about the concept, and I found out that everyone else have been looking for a solution like this.
Similar solutions have been created in Europe and some places in Asia, and when we look at the UAE market as one of the largest beauty markets in the world, I think this is really the right time to have an easy solution for beauty booking application. This is where NuMe comes to life.
NuMe is a beauty booking mobile application that will be available in both app stores from December 2019. Nume allow users to navigate through different beauty services and choose how to book in few clicks. When users click on the service they want, the app will show all the salons or spas that offer this specific service with availability, time, and cost, then the user can easily book whatever the client wants. The service will be available for both women and men.
BBJ: What sets NuMe apart from other alternatives in the market? How do you differ from your competition?
MF: NuMe is unique and easy to use, a super user-friendly app driven by outstanding technology. We have a dedicated team of professionals that allow us to stay ahead of everyone else either in the business solution or the digital solution.
As a consumer and user, NuMe is a free application to use. We charge only the businesses that sign up with us to use it but still our fees are really very hard to beat, we are here basically to create a solution that benefits everyone. Good news for users is that the application is free to download and use, and we may even share a lot of offers, be sure to watch out for that also.
There are a few new comers in this market but far from covering the need of the market. I think it is going to be very healthy to have a competition, particularly if there is any over the next few years that will raise the bar in terms of quality that we already aim for.
BBJ: Where do you see the big growth opportunities coming over the next few years as you develop NuMe?
MF: The growth of beauty and wellness is big. We are starting with the main cities of the UAE, focusing more on beauty rather than wellness right now, but soon expect to cover more segments of the market and more parts of the country, and then look at opportunities for international expansion.
Knowing that the growth of the population around 2020 in Dubai and the other emirates is going to require services in all sectors, beauty and wellness will see a large share of that growing market opportunity next year. We also have a lot of ideas in the pipeline that we are going to reveal when the time comes.
NuMe will be available on Playstore and Appstore from December. Mohamed Fouda is a serial entrepreneur. He is also an Angel Investor that has worked with many startups in the Middle East, and an author of a series of books called “Confessions of An Entrepreneur”.