|It has been seven years since the
vision of the Beirut Central District was proclaimed and translated into a master plan,
less than five years since the inception of SOLIDERE, and four and a half years since the
laying of the foundation stone for this monumental postwar reconstruction and urban
The past year has contributed an
important milestone in fulfilling our mission. By completing the infrastructure in the
traditional BCD, we have realized, well ahead of schedule, one of the major deliverables
of our agreement with the State.
This ushers in a new stage in the project: on 120 hectares
of land representing two-thirds of the total planned BCD, the focus is shifting from land
development to real estate development.
Dramatic advances in reclamation, clearing and protection
are meanwhile paving the way for the development of a modern extension to the BCD on 61
hectares of land being reclaimed from the sea.
A large real estate business such as SOLIDERE could not
remain immune to the repercussions of the crisis in the world capital markets, especially
emerging markets, to which have been an oil-led regional recession and the slowdown of
economic activity in Lebanon. However, our high asset base and low indebtedness will allow
us to face cooler markets and stringer liquidity conditions, which we believe to be of a
SOLIDERE continues to be a robust company and its middle
and long-term prospects are quite bright. Temporary setbacks are not stopping us from
confidently leading the way towards realizing this most challenging project: developing
the finest city center in the Middle East.