Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Retail and the economic crisis

After the hotels and restaurants, it is the retail industry that is feeling the effects of the current economic strain,” says Nicholas Chammas, head of the Lebanese Traders Association. The retail industry in Lebanon depends heavily on Arab tourists and has suffered the effect of their decreased numbers this summer. “During the good summers, we

Starved for business

With so many foreigners and expats altering their vacation plans to avoid Lebanon this summer, it is no wonder the hospitality sector, which relies heavily on tourism, is struggling.   According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists entering the country this year, until July, had decreased 12 percent in comparison to

Parking against the machine

How many times have you come back to your parked car to find a red surcharge ticket welcoming your overdue return? Hopefully you paid the LL10,000 ($6.6) charge within the 10-day time limit, lest it increase incrementally to a $26 fine and then $66, which you will inevitably have to pay when your car goes

Developing debauchery in downtown

In the olden days, Uruguay Street, behind what today is the Samir Kassir Square, was better known as the Souk El Kmash, or the “Clothes Market”, and was famous for high-end tailors and shops full of trendy attire. Today, and a year into its revival, it is becoming known for its bars and restaurants and

Behind the silver screen

"The movie business is a gambling business,” says Salim Ramia, chief executive of Grand Cinemas. “When you buy a movie for a million dollars before it is even filmed, isn’t that a gamble?” Indeed, Ramia himself placed big bets by selling his successful company in the United Arab Emirates to start up the same business

Making them like they used to

What was once a relatively quiet bohemian street parallel to the Mar Mikhael main road has begun bustling in recent months. While artistic types have long visited the art and architectural book shop Paper Cup and the Spanish library here, the increased footfall seems due to a little diner called Frosty Palace, which boasts the

Many plates at the table

When your meal is served at a wedding or when you grab a canapé at a cocktail reception, you do not often stop to think of what happened behind the scenes to put that food on your fork. Starting the day before the event, the kitchen is abuzz with chefs over their stoves, assistant chefs

No rockin’ around the clock

White Beirut’s website features a video which begins with news reporters announcing the various negative political events of this summer and Gulf country travel warnings for Lebanon. It then rolls on to the song “War, What is it Good For?” and shows photos of people clubbing at White and ends with the statement “This is

Fewer people to play for

Every summer, people flock to the towns and remote areas of Lebanon for the festivals. Local residents anticipate those events for the publicity they bring to the area and for the obvious economic benefits to the restaurants and hotels there. This year, however, was not like the last. Ehdeniyat International Festival, Ehden’s annual summer festival,