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Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, said that the “lack of necessary security stability … has left us no choice but to abandon the launch of our television station from Lebanon"

Al Habtoor scraps Lebanon TV channel after physical threats

Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group has cancelled plans to launch a TV channel from Lebanon after physical threats were made to the founder and staff. Chairman and founder Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said that the “lack of necessary security stability for investment … has left us no choice but to step back from this initiative and […]

An airplane on final approach to Beirut International Airport: Lebanon has cut the amount owed to airlines by 9%

Lebanon among biggest debtors to global airlines

The money owed to international airlines in Lebanon has fallen by almost 9 percent year on year, but still totals $129 million, the International Air Transport Association reported on Sunday. Lebanon takes the fifth spot in a 2024 list of countries where funds are overdue for repatriation, IATA said. It was the No 1 country […]

Almost all of Lebanon's visitors in the first quarter came from the Lebanese diaspora

Tourist numbers drop as Western visitors avoid Lebanon

Inbound tourism to Lebanon fell 13.5 percent year on year in the first three months of 2024, mainly as a result of Western tourists staying away, data released by the country’s Ministry of Tourism shows. It is the latest indication of damage to Lebanon’s post-crisis economy caused by the ongoing border conflict between Hezbollah and […]

Israel Lebanon damage

Israeli bombardment costs Lebanon at least $1.5bn

Israel’s bombardment of southern Lebanon in response to the Hamas attacks on October 7 has caused more than $1.5 billion of damage to buildings and infrastructure, the country’s Southern Council says. The president of the council, Hicham Haidar, told AGBI that damage to residential and commercial buildings stands at $1 billion, with 1,700 buildings destroyed […]


Lebanon’s diners defy both slowdown and spectre of war

It is a cliché in Lebanon that people will always find the money for restaurants, even with war and conflict once again threatening its southern borders. “No matter what, Lebanese people want to go out,” says Christian Ghosn, CEO of Ghia Holding, which operates 25 restaurants in Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe.  When Ghosn’s […]

Lebanon EU aid

Lebanon to receive $1bn in financial aid from the EU

A financial aid package for Lebanon from the EU valued at more than $1 billion was announced on Thursday by the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen.  The money, most of which will be grants, will be made available over the next three years. Some will go towards helping to control the flow of […]

The 2020 explosion caused $15bn of damage and reduced the port's capacity

Beirut bids to reclaim its regional shipping crown

The ruined grain silos that absorbed much of the Beirut Port blast still stand as a monument to Lebanon’s misery during the past four years.  Much of the debris, scattered across the old port and lying on the seabed, remains unmoved from where it fell on 4 August 2020, when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate […]

A customer paying with a credit card inside the Black Friday Market in Beirut. Lebanon wants more people to move away from cash

Lebanon launches plan to promote use of bank cards

Lebanese central bank Banque du Liban announced a new agreement on Thursday that it hopes will result in a rebound in the use of bank cards. As part of the agreement, Mastercard and Visa will lower card fees on transactions, particularly for people with bank accounts based outside Lebanon. In a press release, the bank […]

Visitor numbers to Lebanon for the first 10 months of 2023 were up 21% on 2022 but there is currently 'no significant traffic' from the West

Beirut airport arrivals drop as Westerners stay away

The daily arrival rate at Lebanon’s only functioning international airport is down by 4 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year, according to Marwan Haber, the head of Middle East Airline’s (MEA) commercial division. Speaking at the Horeca hospitality conference in Beirut on Tuesday Haber said 95 percent of arrivals were […]

A closed Bank of Beirut branch in Beirut, Lebanon. Some private banks could be forced into liquidation by the government's debt plan

The banking blame game stifling Lebanon’s IMF deal

Lebanon’s proposed International Monetary Fund deal, agreed two years ago and designed to put the country on the road to recovery, seems no closer to realisation. One of the key stumbling points is reform of the banking sector. The combined liabilities of the country’s banks amount to more than three times the size of Lebanon’s […]

The US interest rate cuts may affect commodity prices but beyond that Lebanon citizens will not see a difference, says one observer

Lebanon needs more than US rate cuts to turn its economy around

Probable US interest rate cuts could help Jordan and Morocco attract additional foreign investments as well as easing their already manageable loan repayment commitments, experts predict, but Lebanon’s financial problems remain so acute that a reduced debt burden will make little difference. US 10-year treasury yields – the most important determinant of government borrowing conditions […]

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati has called for 'immediate assistance' from UN agencies

Lebanon PM to declare ‘agricultural disaster zone’ in south

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati is to declare the south of the country an “agricultural disaster zone” as the conflict in Gaza batters Lebanon’s beleaguered economy. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mikati called for “immediate assistance” from UN agencies and Lebanon’s international partners to help the country overcome the impact of a […]

Nejmeh Square in Beirut. Visitor numbers to Lebanon for the first 10 months of 2023 were up 21% on the previous year

Lebanon reports visitor increase despite border conflict

Visitor numbers to Lebanon increased to their highest levels last year since the 2019 economic crisis, despite conflict on the southern border dampening tourism since October. Figures released by the Ministry for Tourism showed the number of visitors to Lebanon in 2023 reached 1.67 million, a 13.7 percent year-on-year increase. Lebanon registered 1.94 million inbound […]

Beirut port blast 2020

Lebanon unveils plans to rebuild shattered Beirut port

Lebanese companies will lead the multi-million-dollar funding for the rehabilitation of Beirut’s port, which will be based mainly on the revenues that the port has been collecting. Ali Hamieh, the country’s caretaker minister of public works and transport, announced the news on Wednesday. The port was partially destroyed in August 2020 when the detonation of […]

WTO director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Iraq and Lebanon both want to resume talks and the organisation will 'try to go as fast as possible'

Iraq and Lebanon face long wait to join WTO

Iraq and Lebanon have indicated a desire to resume talks aimed at joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), but history suggests the two could be in for a long wait. To join the WTO, a government has to bring its economic and trade policies into line with the organisation’s rules and principles and negotiate with […]

A man pushes a shopping cart near a screen showing the exchange rate of Lebanese pound to U.S. dollars inside a supermarket in Beirut, Lebanon March 9, 2023. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Lebanon’s EDL harnesses the power of ‘dollarisation’

Lebanese citizens will soon be able to pay their electricity bills in US dollars as the unofficial “dollarisation” of the nation’s economy continues. The decision by Électricité du Liban (EDL) to allow customers to choose to pay their bills in USD instead of Lebanese lira was ratified by the electricity provider’s board of governors this […]

Lebanese Finance Minister Youssef Khalil. The IMF said the new exchange rate policy underscored the need to 'restructure the banking sector to restart growth'

Lebanon switches to new exchange rate policy

The Lebanese government is now using a dollar exchange rate closer to that of the parallel market when calculating taxes and fees for other administrative charges. The 2024 budget law, which was passed on January 26, ditches all references to the official LBP15,000 and LBP1,508 rates on which the bulk of government revenue was previously […]

Two men (unrelated to the shooting video) work on an electricity generator in Beirut

Gunfights on the streets in Lebanon’s electricity Wild West

A video is doing the rounds in Lebanon. The clip is not easy to find on social media, but it is being sent from friend to friend – and it’s got people talking since emerging last month. It shows an argument in a Beirut suburb turning ugly when a man pulls a gun on another […]