Author Archives: Matt Nash

Impending calamity

Impending calamity

After over a decade of debate — and severe hiccups in 2014 — a law annulling the “old rent” system, whereby tenants who signed leases before 1992 never faced rent increases, gained parliamentary approval and in June was published in the Official Gazette. The Constitutional Council, however, struck down two and a half articles in

Building for demand

With the Lebanese real estate market remaining stagnant again in 2014, Executive sat down with Jihad Ibrahim, general manager of Jamil Ibrahim Establishment, to discuss ways to better regulate the sector and how to improve statistics related to real estate transactions, which he says today are misleading.    We’re seeing a lot of newly built

A work in progress

Bilal Hamad, president of the Beirut Municipality, talks with Executive about parks, sidewalk renovations, the city budget and the increasing number of revenue-generating towers within the city limits.    Back in 2012, you launched the “Beirut is Amazing” project aimed at adding and improving green spaces in the city. How much are park renovations going

Empty towers

Seven years ago if you went out at night and looked at some of the newer residential buildings completed in Beirut, you would notice that many of the flats were dark. At that time, the explanation was that the owners were either foreigners or Lebanese expatriates who only use the apartments for a few weeks

The slump begins to hurt

Lebanon’s real estate developers are singing a different tune these days. Gone is the talk that residential property prices will never go down as three years of a slump are taking their toll. “We’re all having to discount, let’s not kid ourselves,” Nabil Sawabini, chairman of MENA Capital, tells Executive. How much are developers knocking

No direction home

An end to the Syrian civil war does not seem likely in 2015, meaning that Lebanon will continue to host over 1 million refugees even as the government tries to limit the flow of new arrivals. Executive spoke with Ninette Kelley, representative of UNHCR, about what the government should do in 2015, what impact funding

Into the void

There is a certain fascination in Lebanon with world records, whether it’s enough hummus to choke an army or a 20 square meter plate of kibbeh that would cost $140,000 were it an apartment in Ain el-Mreisseh. By November 25, 2014, Lebanon had already broken its own post Civil War record of time spent without

Race to the bottom

In the absence of governance, Banque du Liban (BDL) is doing all the heavy lifting to keep the economy afloat with tourists staying away, consumers hesitating to spend and the growing population of Syrian refugees putting further strain on a state that could not provide basic services even before they arrived. Assessing the impact of

Filling the gap

When international oil companies refused to fund a new survey of Lebanon’s onshore, private investors stepped in, to the tune of $7.8 million. The survey, being conducted from the air with two specially tweaked planes, will cover 6,000 square kilometers and will offer insights into Lebanon’s onshore oil and gas potential. Data acquisition is currently

Refuse crisis

The Syrian refugee crisis is paradoxically helping Lebanon solve its longstanding trash disposal problem. The refugees are themselves producing more garbage, and since Lebanon has long struggled with the problem of where to put much of its refuse, the European Union was prompted to donate €14 million ($18 million) in 2014 to build more landfills