The Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut has been named the ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ in 2018 by MEA Markets, a monthly investors publication based in England.
Four Seasons received GCC Enterprise Award, which honors the accomplishments of “innovative entities and individuals” across the Middle East region.
The luxury hotel has several nearby gourmet restaurants, a spa room and a rooftop pool with a 360-degree view of the Mediterranean sea, mountains and city.
Rami Sayess, the hotel’s general manager, said the hotel staff has worked hard to develop its luxurious brand in the region.
“I am delighted to receive this accolade on behalf of the team at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut,” Sayess said. “This recognition belongs to each and every one of them for all that they do to make the Four Seasons brand an iconic symbol of luxury.”
British-Lebanese banker Paul Raphael is now an executive vice-chairman of the Swiss multinational investment bank UBS, a source told finews.asia.
According to the website, UBS said it was discussing options to terminate Raphael earlier in the year but he made a comeback. He will now be Head of Europe and Emerging Markets for the company.
The 56-year-old banker is fluent in Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish and English. Raphael received a bachelors in Economics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Paul Raphael previously served as a managing director for Credit Suisse and Merill Lynch. His experiences include Chairman of Central Europe, Middle East and Africa & Head of IBD for the Asia-Pacific Region.
A spokesman for UBS did not confirm or comment on the story.
Chami believes these numbers are problematic and can lead to sleep deficiency. He believes the sleep deficiency among Beirut residents is approximately one third higher than the rate in the United States.
Sleep specialist and researcher Neil Stanley said the number of people who are short on sleep is high, and it’s a problem.
“In the past, people would have taken a siesta (Nap) in the Gulf, which allowed them to stay up at night,” Stanley said. “But that doesn’t happen anymore… People are still living like that but are missing out on the afternoon nap.”
Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Salah and his family arrived in Beirut late Friday for a vacation, reports said.
According to the daily newspaper Al Liwaa, Salah, his wife Maggie and their daughter Makkah will be in Lebanon for three days. They will also meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during their trip.
Salah is staying at a hotel in downtown Beirut, but the exact location is not being released for security purposes, the newspaper added.
Salah was recently dumped out of the World Cup tournament in the group stages after his team lost all three of their matches and failed to receive any points to advance to the round of 16.
However, Salah led the national team to their first World Cup since 1990 and managed to score two goals himself during the tournament.
On TV, Kevin O’Leary is a staunchly money-driven businessman known for his big investments and blunt off-the-cuff remarks. But when the cameras are off, the multimillionaire is a proud family man who has passed down his Lebanese values to his children.
O’Leary is best known for his role in the ABC television series Shark Tank, where he is one of five ‘shark’ investors who listen to entrepreneur pitches and choose whether or not to invest in their startups. He is also the co-founder of the billion-dollar tech company SoftKey Software Products.
The Canadian-born businessman was raised by an Irish salesman father and Lebanese businesswoman mother. He spoke candidly to Lebanese Examiner about his rapid success in the world of business, and how his Lebanese values still carry on to this day.
“Lebanese culture is one of the most successful entrepreneurial cultures on earth,” O’Leary says. “I’m very proud to say that because it’s true.”
All In the Family Business
Growing up, O’Leary was surrounded by business and hard work. His grandfather immigrated to Montreal, Canada from Hasbaya, Lebanon and built a successful clothing manufacturing company called Kiddie Togs.
“That’s how I learned family values, and I think those things are very important,” O’Leary says. “You don’t realize that until you get older. The work ethic in Lebanese families is legendary.”
O’Leary’s mother, aunts and uncle all worked hard to keep the family business running, but they always made time for family. His mother Georgette Bookalam died in 2008, and her sons credit their successes to her teachings.
“My mother Georgette was one of the most influential people in my career,” O’Leary says. “To this day, her wisdom and advice guide me in almost every business choice I make.”
The O’Leary home valued family. Sunday dinners were an important part of his life growing up, and it started a special tradition that continues today.
“I remember every Sunday if you didn’t show up for dinner that (my grandmother) prepared all day long, you would burn down in perpetuity,” he says. “I appreciate that because I have those same rules now. I try to get my family together no matter where we are every Sunday to keep that tradition going.”
O’Leary once lived in Cyprus, and would visit Beirut often in the sixties before troubles broke out in the region. His experience in global investments have taken him around the world – and he always finds a Lebanese friend with an incredible business story.
“Lebanese are very smart investors,” he says. “If you go to any city in the world, you’re going to find that the core Lebanese community is very successful. Very often, they own all the real estate in town and lots of different businesses.”
Through his travels, he always finds a good Lebanese meal, too.
“It’s no surprise to me when I go to South America, Cambodia, Europe, wherever, I always go for a good meal,” he says. “I look for a good Lebanese restaurant.”
The entrepreneurial spirit flows through the Lebanese blood, he adds. Today, when he lectures at universities all over North America, he shares these stories with American and Canadian students.
“Some of us are born to create wealth, and others are meant to work there,” O’Leary says. “That’s just the way it is. They are both noble pursuits, but Lebanese have built businesses, they take risks and they support their families – they have a cultural disposition to do that.”
O’Leary believes his grandmother and mother played a central role in his career. He calls them “powerful matriarchs,” and says they exist in every Lebanese family.
“I’m a big supporter of women entrepreneurs – women are very good at business,” he adds. “I think the Lebanese culture was one of the first to support the concept of matriarchal values.”
These values, he says, are part of his career decisions, every day.
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