Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay Closing Down?

LebanonFiles is reporting (here) that Solidere is actively and seriously considering closing down Lebanon’s new “it” project Zaitunay Bay, which has been discussed in the New York Times earlier this year.

The reason for Zaitunay Bay potentially closing is the same reason Fuddruckers and Buddha Bar have closed down while Movenpick got offered up for sale: the terrible state of business.

The shops and restaurants in Zaitunay bay are witnessing such a big fiscal drought that they can’t pay their rent, which is about $500,000 per year for their property. Looks like such a well-visited location hasn’t been resilient to the economic woes of the country.

Meanwhile, as all major business in the country close down or consider closing down, our politicians are either making propaganda visits to Gaza, still on a “forced vacation” abroad, threatening everyone whenever they feel threatened (which is basically every waking moment of every day) or getting people to freak out about a potential “ekhwen rule” in Syria.

The 2013 elections are in a few months and the rhetoric that will be used in the coming days and weeks won’t be that of an economic plan to save the country’s miserable state but that of mentally terrorizing people into voting for one side over the other, whatever that side is.

Despite not being the biggest fan of Zaitunay Bay, I really hope the place pulls through these though times. Lebanon doesn’t need such a thing right now.


7 thoughts on “Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay Closing Down?

  1. its the reason of ridiculously HIGH rents and lots of ppl cant afford going to such restaurants even before the crisis MOST of the ppl go there just to walk they dont even go to restaurants so they should consider lowering those HIGH rents first this way they can encourage ppl from visiting the bay.


    • Yes I agree. The only “affordable” places there for people in our income range (university students whose parents are not millionaires) are CBJ & Paul. Everything else is overpriced. But I figured most of the restaurants were not new so their clients knew their prices and they must have had enough reason to pay the high rent in order to open in Zaitunay Bay. So the fact that they’re not making enough money reflects not just on the customers but also on the situation of the economy.

      The only time I went to a “fancy” restaurant there was Amarres and the place was absolutely full.


  2. The reason is “failed business model” as is the entire soldiere. Instead of investing in production someone subverted the entire economy to real estate and entertainment which doesn’t hold well during instability periods…. The whole region is unstable, has been forever unstable. The geniuses behind soldiere and the funding banks knew that already, duh! So why the gamble? And while Buddha bar closed 10 fancier rooftops and clubs have opened…. Big deal


  3. it failed because it is out of touch of the reality on the ground in every way! If Zeitunay bay catered more to the middle class it would have done better.. It seems exclusive to upper class chunk of people who want to show off, see and be seen in such restaurants where others can not afford to have a juice!! This is one place that you can truly feel the divide not only between reality and illusion but between classes !


  4. Pingback: Zaitunay Bay is NOT Closing Down « A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

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