Society articles

Death of a shopping district – BCD retailers cry SOS

Death of a shopping district – BCD retailers cry SOS

Reading Time: 3 minutes One week into the opposition demonstrations that effectively paralyzed commerce in the capital throughout much of December, a few hardy businesses in the Beirut Central District (BCD) cautiously opened their doors – despite the presence of the Lebanese Army and its armor, dogged protesters, and coils of razor wire – to holiday shoppers. They hung

Regional retail boom counting on luxury

Reading Time: 3 minutes After several years of sluggish turnover, the global luxury industry roared into life in 2006, with worldwide sales reaching a hefty $150 billion. A testament to the industry’s revival is the number of flagship stores spawning around the globe from such über brands as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes and Gucci. By 2010, the Middle East

Pioneering Real Estate

Reading Time: 3 minutes As many developers and investors eyed the Lebanese real estate market cautiously at the start of 2007, Bassil Real Estate Developers (BREI) attracted significant local and regional attention for moving forward with new projects despite political uncertainty. Last month, BREI formally unveiled plans for the seventh edition of its luxury Convivium brand, a $15 million

BoB: a new Frontier

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bank of Beirut (BoB) took a leap into a new market last month by opening a branch in Oman. BoB is determined to pursue its strategy of growth and expansion despite the local political upheaval gripping Lebanon, where the bank has grown in the past 13 years into a major innovative player. BoB is the

Ecological disaster area

Reading Time: 3 minutes Damage to Lebanon’s ecology and agriculture due to the war with Israel amounts to over $400 million, according to research by Lebanon’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) and a recently published survey by the World Food Organization (FAO). Following the bombing of the Jiyeh power plant in July, an estimated 12 to 15 million tons of

Extra Virgin

Reading Time: 4 minutes Olive oil has been a staple of the Middle Eastern diet for millenniums and demand for the product remains high. Global consumption of olive oil has been increasing at 1.5% per annum over the past decade. Market demand for this product is expected to continue as the apparent health benefits of olive oil, and an

Lebanon’s industry leaders call for help but pleas fall on deaf ears

Reading Time: 6 minutes While the Lebanese industrialists’ chorus of demands going into 2007 has certainly grown louder following the July-August war, their wish-list has changed only marginally. As 2006 approached, local manufacturers were lamenting the country’s perennial instability and pleading for the government to compensate the sector for lost income following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik

Lebanon’s insurance industry survives war intact

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s insurance companies passed through the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah without having to pay crippling amounts for war-related claims, because this type of coverage is not a usual purchase option. (In any country, a house caving in beneath the impact of a force majeure is not calculable, and ineligible for cover under a

Lebanon’s media has tough year but confident of turnaround

Reading Time: 5 minutes Last year, Lebanon’s media industry went on a proverbial rollercoaster ride far more thrilling and precarious than anything America’s major theme parks could possibly dream up. Next year looks to be equally action-packed, as the sector struggles to make up for $38.7 million in losses sustained during Israel’s month-long war on Lebanon, overcome low advertising

Obituary- Pierre Gemayel 1972-2006

Reading Time: 3 minutes Pierre Gemayel, the 34-year old Minister of Industry, who was gunned down in broad daylight in Jedideh in East Beirut on November 21, was the fifth member of one of Lebanon’s most prominent Maronite dynasties to meet a violent, untimely death. Gemayel, who won a parliamentary seat in 2000 as a representative of the Phalange