Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Syria displaced revive coastal economy  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 22/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) A massive influx of displaced families, mainly from Aleppo, to Syria's coast has boosted Latakia, a city whose economy heavily relied on its port and summertime tourism before the war.

"People here on the coast are more relaxed," said Haytham Ahmad, who heads Latakia governorate's media office.

"We like to get up late, sip our coffee and smoke our nargileh (water-pipes) before we go to work. But people from Aleppo can't live if they aren't working from morning till night," he said.

Latakia's population has doubled with the arrival of a million people fleeing violence in the northern city of Aleppo, Homs in central Syria and Idlib in the northwest.

The loyalist province has remained mostly untouched by Syria's three-year war, and unlike the rest of the country, its economy is booming.

"There is a real economic boom. (The displaced) have got things moving, and the jobless have found work," said Sami Sufi, who heads the province's chamber of commerce and industry.

"People from Aleppo have a knack for business, and they've headed out to the nearby countryside to set up detergent, cosmetics and even food packaging factories," Sufi added.

Food, cheese and cable-making workshops have also sprung up on the outskirts of Latakia, where rent is cheaper.

An Aleppo-born merchant who realised there was only one man in Latakia selling kaak, or traditional Levantine sesame bread, set up his own business. He now produces kaak in large quantities and distributes the delicacy throughout the province.

Even Aleppo's famed olive oil-based soap-makers have found their way to Latakia, and they are now exporting their produce to the United States from the Mediterranean port city.

Abandoned for years, the industrial zone is now buzzing with activity, as textile, metal and mechanical workshops have filled the space out entirely.

Hassan Shobak, who produces tanker trucks, was the first to set up shop there, after he shut down his 4,000 square metre (43,000 square foot) factory in Aleppo at the start of 2013.

"We gave life to this empty place. Today, I have four workshops, and there isn't a single metre (yard) available, even as the owners raise the rent," said 46-year-old Shobak, who employs 40 workers and sells his goods both within Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world.

"If the municipality gives us more space, we could set up a huge factory like in Aleppo. I am sure many industry owners who closed down their business because of the crisis would come here," Shobak said.

- 'We love to work' -

Aleppo was once Syria's economic hub, until it became consumed by violence after a major rebel onslaught in July 2012 that has split the city into opposition and regime-held territories.

Several districts of the ancient city have been reduced to rubble by heavy bombing and fighting, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

People displaced from other parts of Syria have also sought refuge in Latakia.

Businessmen from Homs focus primarily on solar energy production, while those from Idlib concentrate on mechanics and electronics.

Latakia city's commercial district has also become intensely vibrant thanks to the influx.

Omar Summak used to make hummus -- the Levant's favourite chickpea-based dip -- in the east of Aleppo. But when his city became a war zone, he put his family in his pickup truck, and they made their way to Latakia.

Once he reached the coast, the 30-year-old started out by selling vegetables.

"But after passing through Anana street, I realised no one was selling accessories and trinkets," said Summak, standing in front of his truck, which he had filled with brightly-coloured bracelets, plastic necklaces and earrings.

Prior to the war, Latakia's economy would thrive during the summer, thanks to the inflow of tourists.

Now, beach resorts have become home to displaced families.

Some 600 villas near Blue Beach, in the north of Latakia, have been full for two years, despite soaring rental prices.

Sitting on the beach with his two wives and eight children, 35-year-old Mohammad Sankar says he left Aleppo nearly two years ago.

"We love to work and do business. Look at me, I left my city because of the security situation, and 10 days after I arrived I reopened my sweet factory here," Sankar said.

The businessman has also teamed up with a Latakia native to set up a sausage factory.

"Business is good, but of course, should the army retake Aleppo, I will return. I love Syria but my heart is still in my city."

The downside to the influx, said Daad Juni, a 45-year-old shop attendant, has been the massive increase in prices.

"Prices have doubled since they (the displaced) came -- including apartment and shop rental costs, and food. But we don't complain, business is very good."


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 6 2016 - Germans recycle more and more effectively: Success in PET bottle recycling according to studyMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Bottle deposits have ensured consistently high recycling rates for PET bottles in Germany according to a new 2015 study on the usage and recycling rates of PET beverage bottles in ...

 Dec 6 2016 - Jawaher Al Qasimi Issued Administrative Decision To Appoint Board Of Trustees Of Rubu’ Qarn | For Creating Future LeadersMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, issued an administrative ...

 Dec 6 2016 - Sharjah Concludes its UAE National Day Celebration ProgrammeMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Sharjah’s Higher Committee of National Day Celebrations has concluded its programme to mark the UAE’s 45th National Day, with the schedule comprising a diverse array of over 40 ...

 Dec 6 2016 - du re-enforces road safety messaging for staff during a hard-hitting Road Safety campaignMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) : du has joined forces with Emirates Driving Institute to launch a road safety campaign for its employees on November 17, to support the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) mission of ...

 Dec 6 2016 - DGCX Celebrates 11th Anniversary with Record VolumesMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) celebrated its 11th anniversary on November 21st, delivering a stellar year-to-date growth of 38%, trading over 18.3 million contracts. Strong ...

 Dec 6 2016 - The International Autumn Trade Fair strengthen the UAE position as a strategic market in the MENA regionMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF 2016) is announced to be held from 14th to 16th of December at Dubai World Trade Centre. The 31st edition of the event will take place under ...

 Dec 6 2016 - The IVI 2016 fertility conference in Abu Dhabi ended with huge participation and exchange of brilliant ideas that take infertility treatments to newer heightsMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The 2nd edition of the IVI Fertility conference titled - Latest Advances for Enhancing Success Rates in ART, ANNO 2016, recently concluded after two days of insightful discussions and ...

 Dec 6 2016 - Welcome 2017 in style at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham’s NYE bashMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Have a chic and classy countdown to 2017 with a black-and-white themed NYE gala dinner party at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, Jumeirah Beach Residence. Dress to the nines and dance ...

 Dec 6 2016 - Hotelier Summit UAE & KSA kicks off today (6th December) with a focus on the sustainable design and tech-oriented Hotels propertiesMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) For its 9th edition, the Hotelier Summit – UAE & KSA kicked off today (Tuesday, 6th December, 2016) at Al Bustan Rotana in Dubai. Reuniting 235 key decision makers and experts from ...

 Dec 6 2016 - KAMCO supports Generation Six of The ProtégésMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) KAMCO Investment Company, a leading investment company with one of the largest AUMs in the region, supported Generation Six of The Protégés. KAMCO participated in the Job Shop event ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help