Author Archives: Joe Dyke

‘Time to stop the talking’

‘Time to stop the talking’

Reading Time: 3 minutes With entrepreneurship becoming something of a buzzword in the Middle East, it would be easy to assume that it is booming. But while support for new companies is certainly growing, for some it is not nearly fast enough. Usama Fayyad, Executive Chairman of Oasis 500 – Jordan’s largest fund for supporting early stage start-ups –

Running the Code Marathon

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was not until the can-can came on that Firas finally lost it. The tall, bearded man rushed to the sound system, cranked it up to full volume, raised his hands and wiggled his body – somewhere between a dabke and the Harlem Shake, but definitely nothing like the can-can. The moves failed to illicit

‘Not everybody can be an entrepreneur’

Reading Time: 5 minutes Omar Christidis is the founder and chief executive officer of ArabNet, the leading space for debating digital growth in the Middle East. The organization’s annual Beirut conference on 20-22 March is expected to be the largest gathering of digital professionals in the region, with over 1,200 expected attendees. Christidis spoke to Executive about Lebanon’s answer to

Assir’s economics

Reading Time: 6 minutes We wanted to avoid talking about Hezbollah, we really did. We entered the room with the intention of carrying out our first interview with Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir where he didn’t mention the ‘Iranian Party’ — as he calls the movement led by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Yet, it was not that simple. Assir, one of Lebanon’s

Old habits die hard

Reading Time: 4 minutes In September last year the Lebanese government banned smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars. As the months have ticked by the ban has increasingly been ignored, with many of the country’s establishments thinking up ‘ingenious’ ways to avoid implementing it. With seemingly little political will or capability to enforce the law, is it

Big stakes in little Cyprus

Reading Time: 8 minutes The largest external investor in Russia in 2011 was not the world’s biggest economy, the United States. Nor was it one of the emerging economic behemoths China or India, or even one of the country’s neighbors.  The country from which the most money entered Russia was in fact the world’s 121st largest economy, an island

Understanding Lebanon’s stimulus package

Reading Time: < 1 minute Lebanon's economy and particularly its real estate sector are in need of a boost, and so the Banque du Liban (BDL) – the country's central bank – have proposed a stimulus package. On January 14, 2013, BDL issued Intermediate Circular 313, with the aim of pumping an extra LL2,200 billion ($1.46 billion) into the economy, yet the plan

A beginner’s guide to Lebanon’s oil and gas

Reading Time: < 1 minute Lebanon's oil and gas sector has the potential to transform the country's economy. Experts estimate the gas in Lebanon's waters may be worth more than $75 billion, nearly double the country's GDP. If done well, the resources could be used to reduce debt while also stimulating growth. But if politicians negotiate bad deals or if corruption

The app that knows your number

Reading Time: 3 minutes Looking at the Lebanese Google trends data for 2012, one company’s growth shone above any other. In 2012 the number of people searching for Truecaller in Lebanon increased by 4,150 percent – the biggest rise of any term in the search engine, with the next highest growing by just 250 percent. Truecaller’s app has been

What did the Lebanese Google in 2012?

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the past week Google released its Trends data for 2012, providing insights into what the world looked up over the course of a year. Unfortunately Google Trends in Lebanon is not as sophisticated as it is for larger markets such as the United States, so doing searches in categories is not possible. Nevertheless we have