Phoenicia Group is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year by hosting a virtual event on 23 June.

In particular, the company is marking its long-standing partnership with Cuban cigar group Habanos at what promises to be a memorable occasion.

The company is welcoming registrations from across the travel retail industry via the link here.

Founded in Beirut, Lebanon by Mohamed Zeidan, Phoenicia Group today operates across a range of diverse activities, from cigar distribution to travel retail and from tourism to food and real estate.

Phoenicia Group was initially planning to host a physical event to mark the important milestone. However, due to a range of complicating factors, including COVID-19, it has decided to adopt a virtual format instead.

The virtual anniversary celebration will mark the debut of two new regional cigars from Lebanon, the Ramon Allones Phoenicio 40 and the Quai d’Orsay Baalbeck. Guests will hear from leading figures from Habanos and the wider cigar industry, with some special surprises promised for attendees.

Phoenicia Group started its activities with the distribution of cigars on behalf of Cubatabaco (Empresa Cubana del Tabaco). Today, Phoenicia Group is one of the leading distribution partners in a Habanos joint venture, overseeing sales and marketing for all Cuban tobacco products around the world.

In travel retail, the company has a distinguished history of activity, both within and outside Lebanon. It was awarded its first contract for the old Beirut Airport in 1979, but later took its experience to other markets. From 1991 it managed diplomatic duty free shops in Prague and Bratislava, and from 1993 ran the duty free operation at Yerevan Airport in Armenia.

In 2002 it began its 15-year contract with ARI to run Beirut Duty Free at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, which it extended in 2017.

Its travel retail subsidiary, Phoenicia Trading Afro-Asia, was the first to launch a specialised international franchise concept, La Casa Del Habano, at Beirut Airport in 1997. This concept has grown to become a signature of Beirut Duty Free and a beacon for cigar retailing in the channel.

In addition, La Casa del Habano features the largest walk-in humidor and the first vintage walk-in humidor in travel retail. Its offer comprises 515 lines across 34 different brands.

*The Moodie Davitt Report will report extensively on the anniversary event, with an interview with Chairman Mohamad Zeidan to follow soon.