30 most admired companies in the GCC 2019
Thu 31 Jan 2019 11:11 AM

Headquarters Dubai

Sector Retail

It started with a $6,000 loan and grew to a $1bn company in the span of just eight years. Today, there are few beauty fans who aren’t familiar with the cosmetics brand. The mastermind behind the Huda Beauty brand, Huda Kattan, initially scraped a living as a makeup artist for Revlon before starting a YouTube channel and amassing millions of viewers who were quickly lured in with free makeup tips and tricks. She launched her company in 2010 and now sells a line of beauty products ranging from skin foundations to lip colours and false eyelashes.

The Iraqi-American, who has 30 million followers on Instagram alone, released a reality series on on-demand viewing service Facebook Watch in June 2018, which goes behind the scenes of her daily life to share the ‘good, bad, scary and ugly times’ of running her Dubai-based family business. She told Arabian Business in September last year that the firm is looking to hire more talent as it eyes expansion across the US and Europe. Her company has also recently opened offices in the UK.

The globally-renowned beauty magnate also spoke against buying fake followers, stating that there is “no longevity” for social media influencers who do so. She said fake followers don’t offer real value to an influencer, and called on social platforms such as Instagram to further cut down on them. In 2017, she sold 15 percent of Huda Beauty to US-based TSG Consumer Partners, calling the sale by the firm a “dream come true” thanks to its striking portfolio which includes Revolve and previously, Smashbox Cosmetics and Voss. Kattan also launched fragrance brand Kayali in 2018 alongside her sister Mona Kattan, Huda Beauty’s global president.