Experts in the manufacturing and import of the Saudi shemagh revealed that this traditional dress has reached the highest annual sales season, recording sales estimated at about 900 million riyals annually.
They pointed to new consumer trends, especially among the younger generation, as a number of international brands have joined the race to acquire the biggest share of the market.
The shemagh is a traditional garment for men in the Arabian Gulf region and some Arab regions in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Yemen, where it is considered part of the culture men’s clothing, whether at work or during social events and others.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, CEO of Al-Imtiaz Company Ltd., Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, said that the volume of the shemagh market ranged between 700 and 900 million riyals annually.
He added that between 9 and 11 million shemaghs and ghutras were sold annually, stressing that the percentage of sales during Eid al-Fitr season and other holidays represented nearly 50 percent of the annual sales volume.
Regarding market and consumer trends, Al-Ajlan indicated that the majority of consumers of the shemagh and ghutra belonged to the young generation born between 1997 and 2012.
He noted that international brands, such as Pierre Cardin, S.T. Dupont, Cerruti 1881 and others, have joined the shemagh and ghutra market, contributing to raising the quality and specifications of the product.
For his part, Nasser Al-Hamid, manager of a shemagh shop in Riyadh, explained that the sales increase in the last ten days of Ramadan every year and reach their peak in the last two nights before Eid al-Fitr.
Hamid also noted that the market has witnessed, in the last ten years, a variety of new designs and brands, paving the way for a greater competition between companies in terms of quality and price, and in marketing campaigns.