Two Lebanese women among Forbes top 10 entrepreneurs in Middle East

Forbes Middle East recently released a list of the top 10 women entrepreneurs in the Middle East that “have championed the most innovative ideas and received the most external funding” in 2017.

Two women from Lebanon made the list at numbers 6 and 9!

The list included women of Arab origin based in the Middle East who were “making waves” in their respective industries.

Nadia Moussouni, named number 6, is the co-founder of her startup Energy 24 that raised $3 million.

Founded in 2011, Moussoun’s Beirut-based startup seeks to create alternative energy storage and generators and currently consists of two technicians, plus four technicians on contract basis.

Nadia and co-founder Antoine Saab (Executive Magazine)
Nadia and co-founder Antoine Saab (Executive Magazine)

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At number 9, Loulou Khazen Baz raised $1.8 million for her startup Nabbesh.

Founded in 2012, Baz’s startup is the Middle East’s first online freelance work marketplace.

Loulou previously won the TV show “The Entrepreneur” in 2012 for the Nabbesh idea and oversaw the planning of new startups in the healthcare, education and technology sectors.

You can check out the full list, by clicking here.

JOBS: Emirates now hiring crew members in Lebanon

A major global airline is looking to add more Lebanese talent to its crew. The Emirates airline will be holding a career fair in Lebanon for two days in an effort to fulfill demand in the region.

The Dubai-based airline is looking for “open-minded, helpful, friendly and service-oriented” candidates to spend the day speaking to recruiters on July 3 and July 6.

  • July 3: Burj on Bay Hotel in Kfar Yassine, Lebanon starting at 8 a.m.
  • July 6: Mövenpick Hotel in Beirut starting at 8 a.m.

For both dates candidates are expected to bring their most recent resume (CV) and a photograph.

RELATED: Lebanese man wins $1 million jackpot at Dubai Duty Free for the second time

Two more open recruiting days in Beirut and Jouneh are scheduled for August. The specifics have not been announced.

This is the airline’s latest push to capture the market of Lebanese expats that travel to Lebanon every year.

On March 29, the airline’s flagship double-decker plane made its first appearance of an eventual service route to Beirut’s Rafic Hariri airport.

Emirates A380 made its first landing in Beirut this year (Emirates Media centre)
Emirates A380 made its first landing in Beirut this year (Emirates Media centre)

For more information about requirements and the selection process, visit their website here.

Lebanese man wins $1 million jackpot at Dubai Duty Free for the second time

Lebanese expat Musleh Mousa Hassan won the top prize of the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire lottery during the latest draw for the second time in six years.

The June 2018 drawing took place at the Dubai International Airport. The first time Hassan won the top prize of $1 million was in November 2012.

According to Dubai Duty Free, he is the tenth Lebanese citizen to win the jackpot since it was created in 1999.

Musleh Mousa Hassan won $1 million in Dubai Duty Free drawing for the second time. (Dubai Duty Free)
Musleh Mousa Hassan won $1 million in Dubai Duty Free drawing for the second time. (Dubai Duty Free)

Hassan is a a 73-year old corporate manager of an insurance company. He was born in Lebanon, but lives in Dubai.

In a statement, he thanked the Dubai Duty Free store for the good luck — twice in six years!

“I remember when I first won $1 million in 2012 — I was over the moon, and winning again .. is just truly an unexpected surprise,” Hassan said. “Thank you, Dubai Duty Free for my amazing second win.”

After Hassan was declared the winner of the top prize, an additional three luxury vehicles were given away by the duty free store to French, Indian and Pakistani citizens.

WATCH: Lebanese man wins $1 million at Dubai Duty Free:

Casino du Liban expects $10M in profit in 2018: Casino president Khoury

Casino du Liban president Roland Khoury projected the net profits for the establishment to be over $10 million for the fiscal year of 2018.

In 2017, the casino rebounded after Khoury took over with a $3 million profit after years of experiencing losses, the Daily Star reports.

The casino is majority owned by the government through the Intra Investment Company and is managed by London Clubs International, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

Casino Lebanon

As a result, the establishment pays lots of taxes on most of their games inside. Khoury said “We pay nearly $40 million in taxes on the slot machines.”

He called on tax reform in the country so that the casino will be able to better compete with casinos in Cyprus and around the world.

Despite his grievances, many analysts have noted that the expected revenue for 2018 is promising given the small size of Lebanon’s population and where a significant percentage of people do not gamble.

Fiber-optic Internet coming to Lebanon, Ogero Chairman says

Plans to introduce fiber-optic Internet in Lebanon are in the works, the leader of Lebanon’s state-run telecommunications firm confirmed Tuesday in a tweet.

Imad Kreidieh, the chairman of Ogero Telecom, tweeted that the Audit Bureau of Lebanon has approved the company’s plan to install fiber-optic cables across the country.

According to the Speedtest Global Index, as of April 2018, Lebanon had the third slowest ‘Fixed Broadband’ speeds in the world.

Fiber-optic Internet could soon come to Lebanon. (Stock photo)
Fiber-optic Internet could soon come to Lebanon. (Stock photo)

Experts believe the installation of fiber-optic cables in the country will establish a better Internet and TV infrastructure and greatly increase the average Internet speeds.

Fiber-optic is considered one of the fastest forms of receiving Internet.

Google Fiber, for example, promises speeds of 1 GBit/s while traditional cable maxes out at around 200 MBit/s.

Lebanon’s wind power industry attracts bids from 40+ companies

Lebanon is attracting international interest from 42 companies to develop up to 300 megawatts of wind power, according to Windpower Monthly magazine.

The country’s Ministry of Energy and Water has received expressions of interest from 42 companies in 20 countries, including Denmark, France and Germany.

According to Windpower Monthly, the wind power projects would be located in Akkar, the Bekaa Valley or Southern governorates.

Lebanon is expected to launch the main bidding process during the International Beirut Energy Forum in late September 2018.

Windpower Monthly reports the companies include Ramboll in Denmark, Dongfang Electric in China and ACWA Power in Saudi Arabia, among others.

Lebanon gave the go ahead for 200 megawatt projects in 2017, with a tender introduction to wind power starting in 2013.

The country is still in the early developmental procedures of wind power. Lebanon aims to source 12% of its electricity and heat from renewables by 2020.

LAU professor: Bitcoin will have ‘large impact’ on global economy

Lebanese American University professor Saifedean Ammous published a book called ‘The Bitcoin Standard’ where he calls the cryptocurrency a ‘decentralized alternative to central banking.’

The professor, who is also a visiting scholar at Columbia University, explores the history of currencies and how different forms of money eventually became undesirable and replaceable.

“The most important thing that bitcoin offers is a new form of sound money outside the control of any authority of government,” Ammous said in an interview with World Crypto Network. “I think it is going to have a very large impact on how the world economy functions in the future.”

Ammous goes on to explain that Bitcoin is immune to many of the factors that that cause typical Fiat currency to devalue and hyper-inflate.

Federal banks cannot increase printing of the online currency and there aren’t new sources that can add onto the Bitcoin supply, Ammous said.

“Even tiny technical changes (in Bitcoin)…these sorts of changes have been almost impossible to make,” he said. “Bitcoin as it is is going to survive.”

WATCH: Interview with Saifedean Ammous, Author of The Bitcoin Standard

The book was published by the John Wiley & Sons publishing house. It is sold for about $27 on Amazon.

To learn more about Dr. Ammous’s book, click here to view the book’s description through the Columbia University website.

Study reveals average residential prices in Beirut

The average starting cost for apartments under construction in Beirut vary from $2,000 to $8,500 per square meter, according to a new study conducted by a Beirut-based real estate advisory firm.

The firm RAMCO studied apartment asking prices in 67 Beirut neighborhoods, including popular downtown districts such as Saifi Village and Manara.

According to the study, between 2016 and 2017, prices have dropped in 34 out of the 67 Beirut neighborhoods, especially in central neighborhoods between Bachoura and Kaskas.

But researchers say there has not been a significant drop in apartment prices in the highest tier of the market. The most expensive neighborhoods, Manara and Saifi Village, have the same asking price as last year.



Other neighborhoods, classified by the study as “mid-market” areas, have seen their average prices increase. Areas such as Sioufi, Beddawi and Sakiet el Janzir, along with 23 other neighborhoods, posted  a price hike over the last year.

Price hikes, the study says, are due to the introduction of new residential projects, which pull prices upward.


  • Central neighborhoods between Bachoura and Kaskas
  • Most neighborhoods on the eastern edge of Achrafieh


  • Mid-market neighborhoods
  • Sioufi, Beddawi and Sakiet el Janzir


  • Neighborhoods in good demand
  • Sursock, Saifi Village, Monnot, Kobayat, Kantari, Manara

Researchers say the study looked specifically at asking prices posted by developers, and excluded any margin of negotiation or potential discounts offered during the purchasing process.

According to its website, RAMCO is a Beirut-based full line real estate advisory company, providing agency, marketing, and consultancy services.

Brazil’s Lebanese president faces calls for impeachment

Brazil’s Lebanese president Michel Temer is facing calls for impeachment after allegations of corruption and cover-up were exposed by a Brazilian newspaper.

Temer is accused of offering hush-money to jailed associate in exchange of his silence in the country’s biggest-ever graft probe.

Brazilian “O Globo” newspaper said it obtained recordings which showed Temer discussing payments to silence the jailed former Speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Cunha was sentenced to a 15-year prison term in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, as part of an investigation into corruption at Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.

Cunha led the impeachment process against former President Dilma Rousseff, who Temer replaced in August 2016.

According to the “O Globo” article, Temer is heard on audio tapes discussing hush-payments with Chairman Joesley Batista of meat giant JBS SA. Temer’s office acknowledged the meeting with the businessman, but denied any part in alleged efforts to offer a payment.

“That clandestine recording was manipulated and doctored with bad intentions,” Temer said at a news conference on Saturday. “I will not resign.”

Temer said he had filed a petition with Brazil’s supreme federal tribunal to suspend the corruption investigation until audio experts can analyze the recordings.


Qatari initiatives launch loans to support young Lebanese entrepreneurs

(DOHA, QATAR) — Qatar-based Silatech and Ibdaa Lebanon have announced the launch of two new loan products specially developed to help young entrepreneurs start and expand businesses in Lebanon.

Expected to create over 2,000 additional employment opportunities for Lebanese youth over a three-year period, both loans will be phased in gradually at six
Ibdaa branches.

While Silatech is a regional social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young Arabs, Ibdaa is a leading Lebanese microfinance institution.

Through the Mashroui (My Project) loan product, Silatech and Ibdaa will provide an early-phase loan to help young entrepreneurs finance their startup businesses. The Shabab (Youth) micro loan product is designed to help finance the expansion of already-existing businesses.

Both products target 18-35-year-old Lebanese entrepreneurs who have businesses in operation for less than six months.

The launch of Mashroui and Shabab follows the signing of an April agreement between Silatech and Ibdaa Lebanon to jointly finance a Youth Loan Fund and collaborate on financial and non-financial products and services for Lebanese youth.

In addition to providing loan capital through Shabab and Mashroui, Silatech and Ibdaa are delivering enterprise training and financial literacy education to help young entrepreneurs sustain and grow their businesses.

Earlier in 2015, Silatech conducted a two-day “training of trainers” workshop for Ibdaa Lebanon credit officers, outlining effective communication and marketing techniques for Ibdaa to attract younger clients, as well as relevant criteria to consider when assessing risk among prospective youth clients.

Access to finance is a major stumbling block for young, would-be entrepreneurs in the Arab world. According to the World Bank, young people in the Middle East and North Africa region have the world’s lowest levels of financial access.

The region also has the world’s highest rate of youth unemployment, topping 30% in 2015.

While lower than the regional average, Lebanon’s youth unemployment rate of 21% is still markedly higher than the global average of 13%.

Silatech acting CEO Mohamed al-Naimi said, “Specially-designed loan products such as Mashroui and Shabab provide much-needed access to new financing and business support services for young entrepreneurs who are important job creators of the future, while also opening profitable new markets for financial institutions.”

“The Youth Loan Fund will aim at answering the needs of both existing business owners through the Shabab loan and startups through the Mashroui loan,” said Bachar Kouwatly, CEO of Ibdaa Lebanon, adding that the partnership with Silatech is part of a global youth-focused co-operation between Silatech and the Arab Gulf Fund for Development’s affiliates in the region.

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