Author Archives: Matt Nash

Crafting luxury

Crafting luxury

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the first century, the name Sidon meant something. The city is believed by scholars to be the birthplace of glassblowing, and it had a reputation for fine glasswork throughout the Roman Empire. In “Roman Mold-blown Glass: The First Through Sixth Centuries,” author E. Marianne Stern writes that evidence of Sidon’s fame exists today in

Hermes boutique downtown

Feet not falling

Reading Time: 2 minutes The living is not easy for Beirut’s luxury retailers this summer. When adjusted for inflation, retail sales figures have been falling since the third quarter of 2012, according to an index put out by the Beirut Traders Association (BTA) and Fransabank. Nicolas Chammas, the association’s president, tells Executive that the luxury sector has been particularly

Turn off the tap

Reading Time: 4 minutes While some believe Lebanon houses the city where Jesus turned water into wine, most of the country’s residents today no doubt wish the government could miraculously do the opposite. Precipitation during the 2013–2014 rainy season was half the average, prompting widespread water shortages this summer. The government, however, has announced a plan: use less water

Taking their time

Reading Time: 4 minutes Two years ago, in a real estate special report, Executive quoted a source saying that by 2014 there would be an abundance of empty apartments on the market. Today, “there are unsold apartments,” says Massaad Fares, CEO of Prime Consult. Getting more personal, Fares says that “slightly more than half” of his company’s mixed-use Sama

Namir Cortas, president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Lebanon

Tangled in a web of red tape

Reading Time: 4 minutes Executive sits down with Namir Cortas, a founder of Estates Property Development and Investment, as well as president of the recently-formed Real Estate Developers Association of Lebanon (REDAL), to talk taxes, regulation and corruption.   Why was REDAL created? We created an association that aims at pooling the major developers in an effort to better

Raouche rumor mill

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article is part of a continuing Executive investigation into public and private lands along Beirut’s western coast. For more stories in this series, click here. No one knows what — if anything — is coming.  Rumors about the fate of a peninsula next to Beirut’s iconic Pigeon Rocks abound, but little is known for

Cables in the dirt

Internet unchained

Reading Time: 7 minutes It could have happened years ago. In July 2011 — after a nearly seven-month delay — Lebanon ‘lit up’ a submarine fiber optic cable that brought the county much-needed internet capacity. Before the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) cable went live, the internet came to Lebanon in a trickle. After, it was supposed to be a flood —

Part of The Boulevard project

Exporting Solidere

Reading Time: 4 minutes Plastic sheets with slick photos and generic names like “The Candy Shop” covering storefronts make Amman’s The Boulevard look less empty than it is. Some five years after initially planned, the $423 million project officially opened to the public on June 14, but of the 22,000 square meters dedicated to shops, cafes and restaurants, only

Splitting the spoils

Reading Time: 3 minutes When most people think of oil or gas discoveries, money is the first thing to spring to mind. Industry insiders, however, know that newfound resources often come hand-in-hand with ownership disputes since subsurface deposits predate the lines humankind has drawn above them. With this in mind, Lebanon and Cyprus are currently in talks aimed at