Lebanon’s economic crisis reduces local demand for jewellery, art – Xinhua

A woman chooses a bracelet at the jewelry booth at the Luxuria luxury fair in Beirut, Lebanon on April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Zongya)

BEIRUT, April 22 (Xinhua) — Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis is having a severe impact on the country’s fashion, jewelery and arts industries, said an exhibitor at Luxuria, Beirut’s luxury trade fair. rice field.

“Since the crisis began in 2019, our products have declined by more than 50% in our local market,” said Eman Tawil, owner of luxury jeweler Diamantia.

To fill the sales gap, Tawil needed to expand its business through its online website to other regional countries such as Egypt and more established markets such as Canada and the Gulf States.

A woman tries on a ring at the jewelry booth at the Luxuria luxury fair in Beirut, Lebanon on April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Zongya)

The fair takes place from Friday to Monday at Phenicia, Beirut’s 5-star hotel, and features over 40 exhibitors showcasing the best collections of jewellery, art and fashion.

Houssam Mokahal, manager of Luxuria organizer M&O, told Xinhua:

“This exhibition is a great opportunity for our business to attract clients during the current crisis,” said Lucy Dekermenjan Helou, owner of Lucy by Luca Jewelry.

“Recently, we are only seeing some demand for low-budget items,” she said, adding that only a handful of foreign customers are able to purchase items priced at US$2,000 or more.

Many Lebanese affected by the financial crisis tend to hold coins or invest in gemstones rather than keeping cash in their checking accounts, so they believe the market will recover. Helou said the workshop was held months ago.

People visit a paint booth during the luxury fair ‘Luxuria’ in Beirut, Lebanon on April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Zongya)

Things are not going well for decorator and painter Mariam Shamas. Local demand for her paintings has dropped by about 40% and now relies on scant online demand from Gulf markets such as Qatar, Dubai and Kuwait.

“Hopefully, with the arrival of tourists during this Eid al-Fitr holiday, business will pick up a bit,” she told Xinhua.

Another painter, Rana Doumani, says business is much better than it was five years ago.

“I want our society to come alive again,” she said, adding that the flow of visitors so far has been encouraging.

Two women take a selfie at a painting booth at the Luxuria luxury goods fair in Beirut, Lebanon on April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Zongya)

Clothing and accessories store owner Dania Tabara told Xinhua that Lebanese and foreign tourists have high hopes for her business as they appreciate the high quality of local products. Told.

Adnan Rammal, head of Lebanon’s Economic and Social Council and member of the Beirut Merchants Association, told Xinhua that the Lebanese middle class was a key part of the local luxury market before the crisis. rice field.

“Today, only 20% of Lebanese have significant purchasing power, directly impacting the luxury market,” he explained.

An exhibitor displays one of her abayas at her booth at the Luxuria luxury trade fair in Beirut, Lebanon on April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Dana Halawi)

Lebanon is suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis, causing a collapse of the local currency and devaluation of wages, pushing more than 80% of the population into poverty.

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