New Research Shows a Surge in Popularity of Shisha Across the Globe as Demand for Cleaner Experiences Grows


Latest predictions see shisha industry growing by 55.28% to reach over 32 million users by 2026

While cigarette smoking has seen a decline in use by 21%, signalling a shift in preferences towards alternative experiences

Tech innovations in the shisha sector are responding to this growth in demand for cleaner, more sustainable experiences

New research reveals a significant decline in cigarette smoking and a substantial surge in shisha users over the past 12 months in the USA, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.

The data from AIR Global’s latest research in these markets has found cigarette smoking has decreased by a fifth (21%), signalling a shift in preferences towards alternative options. This decline aligns seamlessly with an increasing interest in shisha:

An average of 18.5% new users in 2023, contributing to the growth in the number of shisha users, which has now reached 20.8 million.

This surge is predicted to drive the industry towards 24.6m shisha users in 2024, an increase of 18.27%, and 32.3 million shisha users by 2026, reflecting an increase of 55.28%.

The global shisha market, currently valued at $19 billion, is projected to expand to $22 billion by 2026.

This surge in demand for shisha is fuelled by a growing appetite for more innovative and cleaner products.

OOKA, launched last year by AIR Global, is the world’s first charcoal-free, pod-based shisha device. It eliminates carbon monoxide production and offers a 94% reduction in harmful chemicals, making it a reduced-risk product for users and the environment. The success of OOKA since its launch in UAE in May 2023 is evident, with the first devices selling out in under a month and sales continuing to outperform expectations, highlighting the strong consumer demand for this revolutionary product.

Ronan Barry, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer at AIR Global added: “We’re seeing a huge surge in popularity of shisha, and a key part of this growth is down to people wanting to enjoy cleaner, sociable experiences. We’re also seeing a heightened awareness of eco-conscious choices among consumers which is underscoring the evolving landscape of inhalation preferences. Shisha is the emerging frontrunner in meeting these demands of a more health-conscious and environmentally aware global population.

“As shisha market leaders, AIR Global is dedicated to redefining the shisha experience which led to the launch of OOKA – the world’s first charcoal-free pod-based shisha device. This innovation, a result of years of hard work by the AIR Global R&D team, removes harmful toxicants and streamlines setup. OOKA is a game-changer, offering a sleeker, cleaner, and more enjoyable shisha experience to meet the needs of this growing market.”

This rising popularity of shisha not only mirrors a shift in smoking preferences but also reflects a broader societal move towards sustainability. The creation of OOKA is a transformative milestone for both AIR Global and the wider shisha industry, aligning with global endeavours for cleaner and more responsible consumption.

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