Tourism chiefs salute fashion designer for holding son’s wedding in Lebanon

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Elie Saab. (Reuters file photo)
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Elie Jr. and Christina Mourad. (Social media)
Updated 23 July 2019

Tourism chiefs salute fashion designer for holding son’s wedding in Lebanon

  • The tourism leader said the situation was to do with Lebanese ego, but he emphasized that wedding parties held in Lebanon could be better than those staged abroad on all levels

BEIRUT: Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab has been hailed by tourism chiefs for staging his son’s lavish wedding reception on home turf.
The influential Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafés, Night-Clubs and Pastries in Lebanon saluted Saab “for holding the wedding party of his son, Elie Jr., and the Lebanese bride, Christina Mourad, in Lebanon instead of abroad, as do tens of Lebanese leaders and lords.
“Holding wedding parties abroad has deprived the tourism sector as well as other sectors in Lebanon of important revenues that can revive the national economy,” the syndicate said.
The nonprofit body that represents restaurateurs, added that the glittering event had “turned the country into a huge wedding attended by more than 3,000 guests from inside and outside Lebanon.
“People shared their joy on social media, communicating Lebanon’s image of civilization and tourism to the world. This wedding filled Lebanese hotels, restaurants and nightclubs and stirred the economic cycle for more than 10 days before and after the wedding. We salute the man who loves peace and Lebanon a thousand times.”
Jean Abboud, president of the Association of Travel and Tourist Agents in Lebanon (ATTAL), told Arab News: “The syndicate’s stance comes in response to a phenomenon that emerged a few years ago. Distinguished people have been holding lavish weddings for their children abroad, where they spend millions of dollars. This has not only been done by politicians, but also businessmen and senior employees, as if it has become a trend or an added value.”
The tourism leader said the situation was to do with Lebanese ego, but he emphasized that wedding parties held in Lebanon could be better than those staged abroad on all levels. “We have outstanding wedding planners who get employed to plan weddings abroad,” he added.
Abboud pointed out that the tourist season in Lebanon this year had so far been promising with the number of visitors from GCC countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, up on 2018 figures. He added that the 2019 draft budget approved by Parliament last week had not put “any burdens on the tourism sector.”
Chairman of the Hotel Owners Association in Lebanon, Pierre Al-Ashkar, estimated the cost of wedding parties held by Lebanese people abroad to be around $400 million, including hotel accommodation, purchases and transportation, in addition to the expenses of the wedding itself.
He said: “There is no longer a difference between politicians and businessmen who choose to hold their children’s wedding parties abroad. It is true that these weddings are no more than a few hundred, but their expenses are huge and, therefore, deprive Lebanon of this money.”
Al-Ashkar pointed out that the number of tourists choosing Lebanon this summer had risen, highlighting a significant 30 percent increase in the proportion of visitors from Europe.
“However, the number of tourists from GCC countries, especially Saudi Arabia, has not been as we had wished,” he added.
“Maybe this is because these tourists, who have not been visiting Lebanon for five to seven years, now have business in other countries or investments in tourist places outside of Lebanon, especially as some countries now offer incentives to attract tourists carrying certain passports and residence permits.”


Ivanka Trump wears traditional ensemble during visit to Morocco

The ensemble was decorated with detailed stitching. (AFP)
Updated 07 November 2019

Ivanka Trump wears traditional ensemble during visit to Morocco

DUBAI: US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka on Wednesday stepped out in a traditional Moroccan grey suit during a three-day visit to the north African country aimed at promoting the economic empowerment of women in developing nations.

The ensemble was decorated with detailed stitching and the 38-year-old American businesswoman paired the outfit with matching high heels.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you to Her Royal Highness Lalla Meryem for a warm welcome to Morocco! : Jacquelyn Martin/ AP

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Upon her arrival at the airport in the capital Rabat, the senior White House adviser was met by Morocco’s Princess Lalla Meryem, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita, and other officials. Trump and the princess sat on a sofa and talked for several minutes before departing.

Trump is visiting Morocco to promote the US government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, which she spearheads. Launched in February, the program aims to help 50 million women in developing nations advance economically over the next six years.

The initiative has already been promoted by Trump during her trips this year to sub-Saharan Africa and South America.