Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Keeping it small

There’s a popular joke in the wine industry which goes: “Do you know how to make a million dollars out of a small winery? Start out with five million!” The joke illustrates why owning a small winery is perceived more as an expensive hobby or an act of passion than a money making venture. At

Grapes of change

Deir El Ahmar, a Christian village in the northern Bekaa valley’s Hermel-Baalbek region, is more notorious for its marijuana plantations than it is for great wines. But winemaking is precisely what the Coteaux d’Heliopolis Cooperative now wants their village to become known for. The birth of the Cooperative Having never really felt the government’s support

When nostalgia meets luxury

Ask almost any Beirut resident about Summerland Hotel & Resort and they will get a misty eyed look before recounting a childhood memory involving the waterfall “cascades”, clubbing at the hotel’s legendary nightclub or celebrating a wedding on the private sandy beach. The list of memories of this historic resort goes on and on. Opened

Municipality matters

May 2016 was municipal council election time in Lebanon and so, every Sunday of that month, many Lebanese headed to their area of origin and cast their vote for who would essentially be in charge of their native town’s internal affairs for the following six years. While most voters were probably primarily concerned with issues

Hanging on

In May 2016, a collective online call to action, under the hashtag #lawshumasar (whatever happens), was issued by key figures in the creative and productive sector to keep working in Lebanon no matter what happens. It seems the Food and Beverage (F&B) subsector in Lebanon has heeded this call as its productivity continues to grow

What’s on the tourism menu?

Whether it’s summer resort towns like Bhamdoun, Aley, Zahle or Dhour Choueir which began to flourish in the 1940s – and were frequented by both local Lebanese escaping the heat of Beirut and international tourists from Egypt or Arab Gulf countries following the oil boom – or the coastal city of Beirut, which became a

A strategy, please

Lebanon’s tourism stakeholders have learned the hard way that an over-reliance on one type or one nationality of tourists is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. One need only take a look at cities such as Bhamdoun or Aley – and even Beirut, to some extent, which saw a drastic drop in footfall once

Hotels bridge troubled financial waters

From the fifteen year long Civil War which began in 1975, to the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, to the sit-ins in downtown Beirut in 2007 and numerous other disruptions, it seems that Lebanon is always either in crisis or recovering from one. This roller coaster of stability has had a negative

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