Cigar sales in the UAE light up
Heavy blue smoke fills the room, a scent of Havana in the firm greying ash growing as the red burn advances into brown rolled tobacco. For Cuban afficionados, the moment is bliss, where a hand-rolled premium cigar is savoured with all of the passion a wine lover enjoys a vintage bouquet.
Every year, more than three million premium hand-rolled Cuban cigars are sold in the UAE, lifting the county into the top 10 in Havana sales worldwide. And when another three million of cigarellos plus other sales from non-Cuban cigar products, the UAE has kick butt figures.
Worldwide, sales of premium Cuban cigars improved 9 per cent last year, driven by surging demand from the nouveaux riche in China.
In the UAE, sales have always been strong, driven by a loyal local customer base and boosted by sales at Dubai and Abu Dhabi Airports. That's all positive news for the Baqer Mohebi group, sole licensees in the UAE for Habanos Cigars, the Cuban state-owned tobacco manufacturer, distributer and marketer.