Here’s how the O1NE wall looks like one week after I had posted about it.
And here’s a picture from last week. That’s some pretty awesome work!
In case you’ve been wondering what’s that huge pink building near Biel in Beirut, it’s O1NE, the latest Sky Management nightlife project and what’s going to be a true artistic landmark for Lebanon and the region. In fact, I visited the construction site few days ago and had a chat with one of the project’s managers who filled me in on details related to O1NE.
As you can see from the pictures, the place is huge and based on what I’ve been told, 16 talented graffiti artists from all over the world came to Lebanon, despite the situation, to interpret the theme of Music on the 2,500 sqm wall. I met 3 of them including Karski (cool guy) while on site. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a graffiti this big so this looks very promising and I look forward to seeing the final outcome.
The nightclub is expected to open by the end of the year but that’s not official yet. The place is huge from the inside and will have some really cool features which I will mention in future posts once I have some pictures to share.
Until then, you can follow updates of this awesome graffiti work on O1NE’s Instagram account [Here].
PS: For those interested, the artists involved in this project are: Karski (Art Director), Nase, SWK, Binho, Zedz, Telmo, Miel, Nash, Mr. Wany, Mr. Dheo, SATONE, Tasso, Roids, Bonzaï, Koan and Treze.
DePrague Hamra, Picture via DailyStar
I don’t know whether it was a publicity stunt that DePrague’s owner pulled by changing his mind after having decided to close down his pub, but the reasons for closure and re-opening it are not valid specially the ones linked to the smoking ban and a change of atmosphere in Hamra. If anything, Hamra changed in favor of DePrague (and others) and became a street packed with pubs and nights, therefore attracting more potential customers.
Kayan opened in Gemmayze even before DePrague and is still packed every day of the week despite the smoke ban.
Owner Raed Habib decided to close his doors, with several culprits sharing the blame: a year of declining revenue due to an economic recession, an increase in unrest in Lebanon and the region, and a rise of reported incidents of violence in Hamra, a smoking ban that appears to be selectively enforced in the country and a general change of atmosphere in the neighborhood. [Link]
“There was so much pressure. I couldn’t ignore it,” said Raed Habib, who opened De Prague in 2005, making it one of the first establishments in Hamra to attract a popular following after the civil war. So dedicated were the staff and customers that they organized a sit-in at the restaurant Wednesday evening and then walked to the house of Habib to convince him to change his mind.
“If so many people genuinely want the place to stay open then let us give it a chance,” Habib said Thursday morning after a steady stream of patrons visited his home late Wednesday until after midnight. [Link]
The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism decided to shut down Ghost night club after it reopened less than a week ago, just like it did with Acid over a year ago. Of course no legal actions were taken against Antoine Chakhtoura for his wrongdoings and for violating the most basic human rights.
I had no clue it was the same person behind the two clubs. I am surprised to be honest that he didn’t file any lawsuit against Chakhtoura.
Law 174 – No Smoking Lebanon Facebook Group proudly posted today that the latest research conducted by Dr. Jad Chaaban (AUB) has revealed that the “the indoor smoking ban that went into effect in September 2012 has *caused* a revenue increase of +3% for the sector”.
The full research was not published yet but I do hope that they are only considering restaurants that applied the non-smoking law because no one seemed to care about this law in most of the places I visited lately, whether nights, pubs, restaurants etc…
In a press conference today, Dr. Jad Chaaban (AUB) revealed the results of his latest research, which is based on official historical data from the Ministry of Finance:
1) The “restaurants, cafés, pubs, and nightclubs” sector in Lebanon has experienced a revenue growth of 27% over the past three years. This contradicts several claims by the Syndicate of Restaurants stating the sector has been performing very poorly.
2) The indoor smoking ban that went into effect in September 2012 has *caused* a revenue increase of +3% for the sector, which has helped offset the large losses due to political instability. This contradicts the Syndicate’s claims last year that the law would lower revenues in the sector by 25%.
So let’s recap: Law 174 saves 10 Lebanese lives per day, increases the revenues of the hospitality sector by 3%, saves the government $350M in yearly healthcare costs, and could generate $2M-$10M in government revenues TODAY if the pending fines are paid.
Instead of blaming all the woes of the country on Law 174, IT IS TIME TO APPLY IT!
For all the Anthony Touma fans, The Voice Tour 2013 is coming to the Jounieh International Festival 2013 on Tuesday July 9 at the Fouad Chehab Stadium as stated by L’Orient LeJour. I didn’t see a mention of the concert on the Jounieh Festival website though.
I for myself am still upset I will be missing Lana del Rey’s performance at the Sky Bar in Beirut on May 30. Speaking of partying, I’ve been to White, Pier7 and Al Mandaloun these past two days and I can assure you the summer has kicked off to a great start!
Picture taken by myself [@LeNajib]
As I posted two days, the highest and coolest rooftop in town, The Roof at Four Seasons Beirut, has kicked off its summer season this weekend. The Roof is located on the hotel’s 26th floor and is a great place to chill out after work or on the weekends.
For those of you who still don’t know where it’s located, it’s on one of the two tall building overlooking Zaitunay Bay at the best possible spot in Beirut. I circled it in red in the picture below.
Original picture via Zaitunay.com
Anyway, Four Seasons Beirut were kind enough to let me give away two invites to The Roof for BlogBaladi‘s readers. Each winner will get to bring some one along and enjoy the unique experience The Roof has to offer. You will get to try signature drinks as well as a selection of Asian tapas and watch the sunset from the best possible spot or just enjoy a chill-out night.
Lebanese singer Lara Rain performs there every Thursday and Saturday starting 9 pm for those of you who like live entertainment.
If you want to win one of these two awesome invitations to one of Lebanon’s most luxurious 5-star hotels, you just have to leave a comment on this post with a proper email address. Competition ends on Tuesday May 7th at 6 pm. I will pick two names randomly (Using random.org) and post the names of the winners at the end of the day.
I will post the names of the winners and more pictures of the Roof on our Facebook page. You can check them out and like the page [Here].
NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.
The Roof, Four Seasons Beirut
The Roof is currently my favorite rooftop in Beirut. It’s the highest rooftop in town, located at the best possible location overlooking the Zaitunay Bay and the St. Georges Club and offering a great view. It’s a great place to go to after work or in the weekend, have drinks or cocktails, enjoy an amazing view and just relax for an hour or two.
Picture taken from FSB Facebook Page
In case you missed my first visit to The Roof, check it out [Here].
Dubai Marina – Picture taken from Chennibus.com
More and more people prefer going to Dubai rather than coming to Beirut. We’ve lost our competitive advantage and we are falling behind as a top destination for tourists, even the Arab ones.
Before I left for my trip to Lebanon this December, my 84-year-old neighbor told me about the fantastic nightlife in Beirut. She had visited the city after World War II, while her husband was stationed in Europe. She told me about Beirut’s unique blend of European sophistication and liberal leanings in an Arab milieu. Just about 150 miles from Cyprus on the Mediterranean, Beirut served as a gateway to the Middle East.
Flash forward to today. A generation of Lebanese disenfranchised by 15 years of civil war, a technical state of war with Israel, the presence of the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the war in Syria have contributed to the decline of Beirut as a safe, reliable point of entry into the Middle East. As a result, the soul of Beirut’s Western-leaning temperament was mimicked in Disney-esque style by the city of Dubai. And it’s a crying shame.
It’s sad because Dubai is now viewed as the preeminent, culturally westernized city in the region. Dubai, as an urban personification of the West, is the spoiled little boy who has to have the biggest piece of candy. It’s a place with Texas-inspired adoration for the new, big and sparkly; a town with a New Yorker’s greed to have more. Cops drive in Lamborghinis. Visitors party at nightclubs imported from Las Vegas, Amsterdam and… Beirut. [Link]
Where Fashion Chic Meets Cosmopolitan Flair Blvd 44 Seeks To Provide A Plush Rendezvous For The City’s Elite. In 2012 Blvd 44 Established Itself As A Landmark Among Montreal’s Party Venues. This Year Its creators Are Bringing Its Unique Flavors To The Heart Of Beirut. The Stage Is Finally Set With International Media Organisations Touting Beirut City As A Premier Entertainment Destination. [Facebook]