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French Version


Work begins on new Hilton Hotel for Beirut - Branch opened in Beirut in 1975, in first week of civil war (Daily Star)

Wrecking balls ripped through the skeletal remains of the old Beirut Stock Exchange on Thursday to make way for the construction of a new Hilton Hotel.

The $60 million five-star project is expected to be completed by the end of 2005, with 170 rooms and a total built-up area of 24,000 square meters.

The new structure will be the same height as the gutted former stock exchange. It was designed by Architect Claude Monfort and the interiors by Richard Peduzzi. It will be situated at the intersection of Solidere's flagship shopping mall project, the Souqs of Beirut, and a massive city park, both of which may be completed by the time the hotel opens.

The Hilton opened its doors for the first time in Beirut in 1975, but quickly fell victim to shelling during its first week, which coincided with the start of the Lebanese civil war.

Located just a few blocks from the old stock exchange and new Hilton location, the old Hilton has since been demolished and a new Hyatt hotel may be built in its place.

The new Hilton is partly owned by brothers Nizar and Issam Younes and Iraqi businessman Nadim Auchi, who also owns the $150 million Le Royal hotel in Dbayyeh.

Project manager Ziad Younes said the month-long demolition process was being carried out for reasons of safety.

Beirut 13-04-2004
Habib Battah
The Daily Star



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