As civil war rages in neighbouring Syria and with tourism from the Gulf non-existent, hardened Lebanese merchants are surviving on a mixed bag of individual initiative, well-off Syrian tourists and help from expats.

Sitting in her lifestyle boutique, with evening gowns displayed opposite a fully stocked bar, Sophie Salame says the Lebanese “always have a plan B.”

“We have had tough times, but I cut costs and by the end of the year came up with better results,” she said.

Tags: beirut, lebanon