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The Business of Private Beaches

Here’s one sector that hasn’t suffered through the downturn. Often secluded, always carefully chosen, private beaches offer security and exclusivity to the affluent.

July 13, 2010 6:16 by


‘Exclusivity’ has a way of making visitors to the private beach feel pampered and fortunate – unless you happen to be the one being excluded. In that case, “exclusivity” can feel a lot like discrimination, or racism.

Increasingly, beaches and resorts in Lebanon are not shy about denying domestic workers access, should they choose to purchase a ticket and enter. “African and Asian domestic workers are usually allowed into beaches only when accompanied by their employer, and even then they are denied access to facilities,” according to NowLebanon.

Many of Lebanon’s private beaches exclude African and Asian domestic workers from entering pools or donning swimming attire. Some resorts offer “designated areas,” where workers are asked to wait while their employers visit the resort. The BBC’s Andrew North last summer reported on the discriminatory policies of Beirut’s well-known beach establishment, The Sporting Club. Manager, Marwan Abu Nassar, said that permitting entry to domestic helpers would upset his clientele. “We would get complaints,” he said. “I would lose customers and it would affect my business.”

“You can call it that [discrimination], if you want, from a foreigner’s point of view,” he added.


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