The Arab Syrian Company For Touristic Establishments

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These were the new bourgeoisie that were created as a result of the openings in the early 70’s, these families were the relations of power government insiders who were dubbed awlad as-sultah or the children of power. This new bourgeoisie served as a counter-balance to the old and made money the same way as they did, but they also made their fortunes by connecting with other insiders in both the party and the bureaucracy forming the present day system of patronage that typifies the Syrian political economy. The most powerful of these new businessmen was the so-called “troika”: ‘Uthman ‘A’idi, Sa’ib Nahhas, and Rami Makhlouf. ‘A’idi was the CEO of the company the Arab Syrian Company for Touristic Establishments (ASCTE), which was a holding company dedicated to the cultivation of Syria’s tourist sector that was opened in the late 1970’s (Pölling 1994: 14-5; Hopfinger and Boeckler 1996: 185). His company owns the Cham Palace Hotels and Tourism chain along with 17 hotels and other tourist amenities in the deluxe category located at the country’s best tourist spots, as well as subsidiaries associated with the tourist sector, his big break came in 1987-8 when the state de-monopolized its remaining shares in the tourist industry in anticipation of the Mediterranean Games in Latakia in which the ASCTE managed to build a 3,000 bed hotel complex in 12 months, which made the company the most relied upon in the country. By 1993 the company had over 19,000 shareholders with 6,000

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