Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Beirut’s ghost town

Maarad Street hasn’t looked this vacant since 2000. Here, in restored downtown Beirut, is where luxury retail, dining and living should meet. At lunch time, the roads should be filled with business executives from multinational companies taking their guests out for a bite. But a reality check in June reveals shy footfalls for the upscale

A lack of credit

Whether for the season’s latest couture, that fancy dinner or more significant bills such as our children’s school tuition, plastic cards are popping out of our wallets three times more frequently than they did five years ago. According to Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, there are 600,000 credit cards and more than 1

Flying to the bank

Just in time for the peak travel season, Banque Libano Francaise (BLF) yesterday launched a cobranded credit card in an exclusive partnership with Air France-KLM. The European airline group is the first to partner with a local Lebanese bank, with clients automatically getting air miles when they use the card. BLF said they perceived the

The King of Clubs

It took a decade for Tony Habre and his partners to secure a foothold in Lebanon’s hospitality industry. Their company, Add Mind, creates, develops and manages food and beverage concepts. Today, it has its mind set on regional growth, emboldened by striking gold with their concepts of White and Iris, two nightlife venues that are

Beaching on a budget

As the weather heats up, Lebanese traditionally head to the beach to cool down in one of the many private resorts along the Mediterranean. In the past few years, however, entry fees to such resorts have spiked to such an extent that for some, the idea of heading there is not so cooling any more.

Medical tourism keeps growing

The phrase “medical tourism in Lebanon” conjures for many the idea of visitors from the Gulf sitting in cafés and waiting for nose jobs. In reality, plastic surgery makes up only a small percentage of the country’s international patients’ needs. Eighty-five percent of foreigners who seek treatment in Lebanon do so for other medical reasons,

Licensed to slice

You see them everywhere in Lebanon: the women whose faces look as tight as a 20-year-old’s until their wrinkled hands betray them as septuagenarians; the television presenters whose upper lips lump to one side; and all those cute, celestial noses! As you walk down the street you see dozens of faces, male and female, all

The survivors

There was Horse Shoe, most notable for being Ghassan Tueni, Raymond Edde and Charles Helou’s favorite watering hole in Hamra. And Dolce Vita, the sidewalk brasserie that was the hangout for exiled political figures from Iraq and Syria. And Bliss Street’s Faysal’s, the restaurant where the leftists — many of whom became ministers in their

Beirut City Centre mall – a work in progress

The much-anticipated Beirut City Centre (BCC) mall finally opened its doors last week and thousands of Lebanese have already flocked to Hazmieh, causing chaos on the already congested roads leading to the venue. Boasting forty new brands or “firsts in the country”, there is certainly a lot to get excited about but, as the initial