Author Archives: Scott Preston

The untouchable hotel

The untouchable hotel

While it is widely assumed that Lebanon’s real estate business is rife with unethical dealings, only a few detailed examples of wrongdoing actually come to light. In the case of Eden Bay, a resort situated along Ramlet al-Baida—Beirut’s last public beach—evidence of violations and fraud piled up throughout 2017. The disclosures culminated in the form

No stimulus, no problem

Since 2013, Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, has announced over $6 billion in annual stimulus packages to prop up the country’s faltering economy. A range of sectors, from energy to education, have benefited from stimulus-facilitated credit, but none more so than the real estate market. Year after year, property developers and consumers have

Bringing order to the Order

After living in France for 30 years, Jad Tabet, an architect and urban planner, returned to Lebanon early last year to run for the presidency of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut (OEA), an independent trade syndicate covering all Lebanese regions bar the North. Tabet campaigned as an independent against Paul Najem, a

A lifeline for heritage out of thin air?

Each year, a new series of coffee-table books feeds Lebanon’s nostalgia with vintage photographs and cityscapes that celebrate the country’s rich architectural past. Today, the old Lebanon survives through a dwindling number of heritage buildings, now barely unrecognizable compared to the images of the city when in bygone decades. Having survived the war, the remaining

You can build it, but will they come?

Amid plots of unsold, multi-million dollar reclaimed land, on what was 30 years ago an uncontrolled garbage mountain rising from the sea, Downtown Beirut now features more completed buildings than cranes. However, the Beirut Central District (BCD) has been hit hard by stagnation in the real estate market that began in 2011. While projects launched

A long time since the boom

Going into 2017, real estate stakeholders were riding a wave of optimism spurred by the end of a nearly three-year presidential vacuum and the formation of a unity government. After several years of market stagnation, developers willed themselves to believe that consumer confidence would be restored and residency uptake would finally resume. Buyers were also

Unemployed and underemployed

Perhaps few issues in Lebanon are cause for more spirited debate than access to employment for Syrian refugees. Yet due to insufficient data, the economics of the issue have only been credibly argued in the most macro of terms. Nevertheless, a series of new development projects and policy reforms could provide more employment opportunities for

Top