Society articles

Running on Empty -Beirut‘s car market kaput

Running on Empty -Beirut‘s car market kaput

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Lebanese car market had its worse summer in decades thanks to the war and a two-month sea blockade, with the number of new registered cars dropping 81% in August compared to the same month last year. The sector is only slowly clawing its way back, with sales down 41% for September. With the economy

Putting money where the mouth is – Lebanon’s boutique foods

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon, with its limited, varied terrain and lack of cheap labor, will never be an ideal environment for mass-production. However, Lebanon is ideally positioned to “go boutique.” There are already boutique hotels and Lebanon is considered a boutique wine producer, so why not other boutique products? Why not, indeed. Local entrepreneurs are catching on, and

Controversial billboards on airport road – Hizbullah’s ad campaign

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the aftermath of its 34-day war with Israel, Hizbullah decided to launch its first-ever full-scale PR campaign: the “Divine Victory” blitz. The slogan was emblazoned on hundreds of billboards, primarily in the South, the Bekaa and the southern suburbs of Beirut, in a blissful union of militancy and marketing. The contract was won by

The Voices of Growth

Reading Time: 7 minutes Pierre Achkar The Lebanese Hotel Owners Association Of course the situation is extremely bad for tourism. Tourism and warfare just do not go hand in hand. We were en route to a record year in terms of foreign arrivals, but now everyone has left. Hotels in the Greater Beirut area, all along the coast, as

BSE snapshots

Reading Time: 9 minutes Solidere Listing date: September 30, 1996 Number of listed shares Class A 100,000,000 Class B 65,000,000 Opening price Solidere A (Ten to one stock split on 06/01/1997) $113.5 Solidere B (Ten to one stock split on 06/01/1997) $116 Market capitalization (as of 31/12/05, source BSE) Solidere A $1.8 billion Solidere B $1.2 billion Solidere was

Highs and lows in retail in 2005

Reading Time: 6 minutes Michel Abchee Chairman and CEO of Admic, (the parent company of BHV, Monoprix and builder of City Mall in Dora) E How has the retail landscape and shopping habits evolved in Lebanon over the past decade? What does the modern Lebanese shopper demand and how successful have retailers been at responding to this? When we

Joseph Sarkis- Minister of tourism

Reading Time: 7 minutes Joseph Sarkis was appointed minister of tourism in the new cabinet. Here, he talks to Executive about this year’s downturn, the balance between security and tourism, and his hopes for public-private sector cooperation in promoting Lebanon as a major tourist destination. E To what extent has the tourist sector suffered this year? It is obvious

Getting tourism off the ground

Reading Time: 6 minutes Joumana Azzi Branch manager at Wild Discovery Travel & Tourism E How many Lebanese are taking holidays abroad on an annual basis and how has this figure evolved over the last few years? What characterizes the outbound Lebanese tourist market? Is the trend of package tours catching on? While we do not have exact figures

Ibrahim Muhanna, Chairman, I.E Muhanna group

Reading Time: 8 minutes Ibrahim Muhanna is the chairman of the i.e. Muhanna Group, a leading actuarial firm in the region and publisher of specialized financial strength ratings on Middle Eastern insurance companies. His company also produced the calculations used in devising a program for a Lebanese pension scheme. Executive talked to Muhanna about the situation in the regional

The hopes of insurers go up in smoke

Reading Time: 4 minutes Insurance industry representatives in Lebanon recently acknowledged that they expect 2005 to end pretty much as a lost year for business, in line with the “no-growth” environment for GDP and overall economic performance. However, the detailed impacts on sector profits this year cannot be tallied for several more months – with the additional caveat that

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