Cosmetic Surgery Is Demanded in Saudi Arabia as It Is Becoming More Socially Acceptable

A particular aesthetic of long dark locks, a perfectly poised nose, a plump pout and an hour glass figure is the most desired look in the Middle East and from the Middle Eastern market wanting it all – the Saudis are at the front of the queue.

The cosmetics surgery in the Arab region is booming due to fashionable social media trends and it seems Saudi women are at the forefront of nipping and tucking to achieve their idea of perfection. Whether they’re flying to Beverley Hills for facelifts, to Turkey for dental work or Lebanon for rhinoplasty, surgeons from around the world say that Saudi Arabia represents one of their biggest client bases.

Nowadays, getting cosmetic surgery is akin to nipping out to get a manicure in your lunchbreak, since it takes a matter of minutes to enhance your lips with fillers or halt aging with Botox. With Instagram models and western celebrities dictating desirable beauty ideals – the Middle East wants in!

It is common knowledge that Dubai, Lebanon, and Turkey are the most popular destinations for cosmetic work in the Arab world, with specialist celebrity surgeons from the west flying in to perform surgeries in aid of the most sought after looks.

With Dubai neighboring Saudi Arabia, it is no surprise that many Saudis opt to pay a visit for top of the line cosmetic enhancements. Dr. David Matlock, of the American E! Network makeover TV show, “Dr. 90210,” is now taking consultations and appointments at Dubai’s newest surgery hub, Beverley Hills Sunset Specialty Center.

He spoke about the region’s demands for cosmetic surgery at a press conference held at the Valiant Clinic in Dubai, “Plastic surgery is extremely popular in the Middle East, and Dubai gets patients from throughout the region. Probably one of the largest patient sources is Saudi Arabia. Patients in the Middle East want the same types of cosmetic surgical procedures as patients in Western countries. I’ve operated in Dubai for five years and Riyadh for one year. In my experience, the patients want the same thing as the patients in Beverly Hills.”


Dr. David Matlock

Dr. Matlock also went on to state that it is both men and women in Saudi Arabia who are looking to improve their appearances through surgery, whether its liposuction, a new nose or, more recently, the appearance of a muscular body.

Dr. Maurizio Viel of the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery told Arab News that plastic surgery has become a phenomenon due to the fact that it is more socially acceptable than ever before. “There is now the highest concentration of plastic surgeons in the world per capita in Dubai alone,” he said. “For years, we’ve had many patients from the Middle East. We still have those same patients coming from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Oman, and now even more from India, Pakistan, Russia, the US and Europe.”

Many Arabs have been debating whether surgical enhancements go against the will of God and Islam, but it was reported that Dr. Viel also stated that there is not stigma attached to cosmetic procedures for the women of Saudi Arabia.


Dr. Maurizio Viel

In 2018, Riyadh hosted the Saudi Plastic Surgery Symposium, which suggests that the kingdom is welcoming the cosmetic surgery industry in a major way. Some of the most sought after procedures in Saudi Arabia are those fueled by social media filters and celebrity as people like the way a Snapchat filter can enhance their appearance at the touch of a button – and want to recreate this look in reality. The huge demand in KSA for surgical treatments includes tummy tucks, liposuction and buttock augmentation, and laser hair removal, filler treatments, Botox and facial transformations.

Along with surgery, the makeup and beauty industry is one that thrives in the Middle East, as Dr. Maurizio Viel also told Arab News of the cosmetic trends amongst age groups, “The ones in their 20s learn at a younger age to apply heavy contouring makeup, and they’re able to transform and create a look that makes them satisfied,” he said. “However, for those in their 30s, we notice that they’re beginning to come in for Botox and fillers to keep up with their younger counterparts.”


Dr. Luiz Toledo

Dubai-based surgeon Dr. Luiz Toledo, stated that “Saudis are probably number one on the list when it comes to foreign patients.” He also added, “Plastic surgery (among Saudis) is getting more popular every year. They travel a lot and are up to date with the new cosmetic procedures.”

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