Executive Design Challenge August 2015

Are you passionate about initiating real change? Do you have ideas but don’t know how to translate them into action? If yes, enter Executive Magazine’s human-centered design challenge to win the exclusive chance to turn your idea into a reality!   The #ExecutiveDesignChallenge is based around the principle of human-centered design. We want you to

Karan Jain | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Taming the central bank

There is a deep rooted intuition or cultural knowledge that monetary power is extremely risky. Long before things like fiat money and central banking made their first appearances, this cultural DNA has come to expression in both prescriptive behavioral myths — such as Aristotle’s telling of Midas’ self-destructive fixation on the exchange value of everything

Greg Demarque | Executive

Promoting tourism starts at home

No cultural tourism enthusiast would feel that a trip to Beijing is complete without visiting the Forbidden City, or to Athens without at least passing by the Acropolis, and the same thing can be said for Paris and the Louvre Museum. While cultural tourism is not the only form of tourism, it is the one

Greg Demarque | Executive

A port policy for all

Lebanon’s seafaring culture stretches back to at least the time of the Phoenicians. Our maritime trade has, historically, connected East to West, spreading commerce and culture across the Mediterranean Sea. It was towards the end of their centuries-long rule that the Ottomans dug out what today is Beirut’s port and, less than a century later,

Krzysztof Belczyński | CC BY-SA 2.0

Exploration on hold

This article was written in May for the June edition of Executive Magazine. The third well drilled in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) failed to reveal commercially exploitable natural gas reserves. Italian multinational Eni’s Saipem 1000 drillship drilled to a depth of 5,485 meters in Amathusa, in Block 9, without yielding positive results. This is

Greg Demarque | Executive

Combating a global scourge

Child labor afflicts over 160 million children worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) — making it one of the most pressing human rights issues globally. Fortunately, the response of the international community to the phenomenon has been immense. The 96 year old ILO first addressed the problem with the adoption of the Minimum

Greg Demarque

Church and state

Earlier this year, Executive started an investigation into an expansion project at the Port of Beirut (POB) aimed at enhancing capabilities and readying Lebanon’s primary port for future competition. The plan was to create a multi-purpose terminal — at a cost of $129 million — building a new quay to accommodate larger seafaring vessels and

Dar Alma | Greg Demarque

Alternative lodging

Interest in authentic and traditional experiences has been growing over the past several years in Lebanon, as exemplified by the rise in the number of restaurants in traditionally designed homes or even by the number of people going on hikes in rural and rarely visited areas of the country. This trend can also be seen in

Greg Demarque

Surfin’ Lebanon

Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea — however polluted they may be — and enjoying a summer season that stretches from mid May until the end of September, Lebanon’s coast is dotted with various beach options ranging from increasingly rare free spots to top end luxury beach spas. Where beachgoers choose to spend


Providing security for Lebanon’s top end hotels

With the summer season in full swing, it seems reasonable to ask if the level of security at Lebanon’s hotels is sufficient to continue attracting tourists during these uncertain times. A difficult and expensive undertaking Hotels and resorts are exceedingly difficult places to secure. Whereas security at airports, government buildings, embassies, residences and commercial office

Greg Demarque | Executive

Reconstructing cultural tourism

You see them adorning the walls of Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport and the Ministry of Tourism, in picture books about Lebanon or even flashing by in advertisements promoting the country. Images depicting Lebanon’s sites of antiquity, accompanied by a logo of the country’s name written in Arabic calligraphy, have become etched in people’s minds

Keith Yahl | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Seasons in the sun

The first half of 2015 has been good for the Lebanese hospitality and tourism sector and, across the industry, hopes are high for a positive summer season. “With respect to the economic and security climate, it has actually been quite good. One would imagine it to be worse than it really is, considering what’s going

Volker Kannacher | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The evolving role of the central bank

“The overall duty of the [Lebanese Central] Bank shall be the safeguard[ing] of currency as fundamental guarantee for permanent economic and social development, and more specifically: – safeguarding a sound Lebanese currency – safeguarding economic stability – safeguarding the basic structure of the banking system – developing the monetary and financial market” Article 70, The Code of Money and Credit

Joseph Kaï | Executive

For better or for worse

It was the financial markets’ first big surprise of the year. In January 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Alpine republic’s central bank, scrapped its 1.20 ceiling that limited the franc’s ascendancy vis-à-vis the euro. The franc suffered a rare appreciation shock that has been reflected by a higher valuation versus the euro throughout

Greg Demarque | Executive

More than spare change

Lebanon sorely lacks affordable housing options. This is true across the country, but is especially acute in Beirut. Renting in the capital is a case in point. Rental agreements signed before 1992, in which rent increases were tightly controlled, allow some tenants to pay only a fraction of the going rate in the open market.