I just returned from speaking in Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Injection Boot
They welcomed me with 5-star accommodations (business class, limos and
the Ritz) and treated me like royalty.
A couple of interesting facts include:
- Jeddah is where our conference was and is considered the most “liberal”
city compared to other cities like Riyadh;
- More than 50% of the people work for the government and are well taken
- Many of the doctors I met studied at Mt. Sinai in NY
It was fascinating to learn more about a culture so different than mine. And, at
the same time, learn we are not so different after all…
Here are 3 ways the Saudis are similar to us when it comes to cosmetic rejuvenation:
1. There is a big demand for Aesthetics
That surprised me since the females are covered up in black burqas, hijabs and
abayas and the men wear colored headscarfs and white robes but once again the
saying,“Vanity knows no bounds” is still true no matter where you live.
And just like us, they like big full lips, plump cheeks, wrinkle-free skin and hair!
They also like breast augs and liposuction.
I visited a popular cosmetic clinic where one waiting area was full of women
completely covered in black burqas wanting injectables and laser hair removal;
while another waiting area was full of men in white robes and headscarfs wanting
hair restoration. Who knew?
2. The Competition is Heating Up
As in any marketplace, the increase in consumer demand also increases the
supply of cosmetic providers.
That’s why these conferences are happening throughout the Middle East. The
doctors want to learn the cash side of medicine and cater to the demand so they
get hands-on training.
Several I spoke with currently work in a government hospital but have a goal of
going private. Sound familiar?
3. They Must Market Their Cosmetic Services
A famous plastic surgeon who has been in practice for 25 years attended my
branding and marketing presentation and he was telling me how much things
have changed dramatically within the last few years.
He was always very busy and lived off of word-of-mouth and very little advertising.
However, the younger doctors are entering the marketplace and using Instagram
to attract patients so he is losing to them.
So, he was at the conference to learn and grow. Good for him!
By the way, they all know the Kardashians and credit them for increasing the
demand for cosmetic services! I told them to start their own “Real Housewives
of Saudi Arabia” so we’ll see 😉
Here are a few photos from the conference:
Here I am with (Left to Right): Dr. Sami
Sawan, conference organizer, Dr. Nadiah
Bundugji and Dr. Ayman Helmi.
Dr. Alaa Aref also organized the conference
and did hands-on training.
Here are a group of us at the faculty
dinner held outside and we are wearing
our abayas (they found a really long for me).
This is Dr. Yasir Shaikh and I standing in
front of a super creative and eye-catching
Even our badges were creative. They called me
Dr. Catherine because “consultants” are doctors
in Saudi Arabia so I had to explain I’m a Business/
Marketing Consultant and not a doctor 😉
Suffice it to say, this was a magical trip and it was a pleasure meeting everyone. I thank
them for their hospitality and friendliness.
Catherine Maley, MBA
Author of Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients are Saying
She is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars.