by Lebanon 2009 – Official General Tourism Guide,
a Ways Group publication
New York Times newspaper recommended recently "44
places to Go in 2009" and has named Beirut the
number one place among them before Washington, DC.,
Galapagos, Berlin and Las Vegas.
- The article read, "From the Aegean Sea to Zambia,
this year's most compelling destinations are awash
in sublime landscapes, cutting-edge art, gala music
festivals, and stylish new resorts".
- Beirut was described to be "poised to reclaim
its titled as the Paris of the Middle East" and
its hotels were described to be "luxurious"
and high-profile restaurants are transforming the
city's culinary scene.
Lady of the World
thousand times she died, a thousand times revived.
Beirut, one of the oldest cities in the world, is
also an ultramodern metropolis where a mosaic of people
have survived countless wars and foreign invasions
and yet have clung to their determination to live
side by side, creating the Arab world's most open
and tolerant society, and a place where the liberal
values of the West naturally coexist with the traditional
mores of the Orient.
is Beirut's resilience more apparent than in its reconstructed
city center. In 1990, Downtown was in shambles, a
deserted no man's land, a ghost town.
over a decade later, Downtown has emerged as Beirut's
most fashionable and desirable neighborhood, with
gloriously restored French Mandate-era buildings,
European and Lebanese cafes, world-class restaurants,
luxurious boutiques, and stylish pubs. Maarad Street,
with its arabesque arches and sidewalk cafes, is unquestionably
the beating heart of Downtown. Its main artery leads
to Nijmeh Square (Place de l'Etoile), with the 1930s
Art-De-ower at its center.
Lebanese Parliament, also completed in the '30s, is
another stunning example of Lebanese Art-Deco architecture.
West of Nijmeh Square stands the Grand Serail, the
seat of the nation's Prime Minister, with its neo-Ottoman
clock tower, which was designed by famed architect
Youssef Aftimos in 1897. Other notable sights Downtown
include the St. Louis of the Capuchins Church; the
neo-Ottoman Beirut Municipality, which was also designed
by Aftimos; the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George.
The Emir Munzer Tannoukhi Mosque, and the Maronite
Cathedral of St. George.
within a short walking distance from the Beirut souks,
the glittering hotel district and the city's historic
core, the Beirut Marina is one of Downtown Beirut's
the 2004 summer season, the marina welcomed close
to 130 boats. Once fully developed, it will be able
to provide safe harbor for 300 boats, ranging in size
from five to 50 meters.
overall plan will connect the marina to the surrounding
area and provide public access to the town quay.
first Beirut International Jazz Festival took place
at the Beirut Marina in 2004. Sea-related events included
Mediterranean theme regattas, artistic performances,
fireworks and laser shows aboard ships.
epitomizes Solidere's concept of an urban village,
with a detailed plan that takes into account the preserved
urban fabric, a network of green spaces and pedestrian
ways paved with cobblestone. Services include a nursery
school, a polyclinic, convenience shops, galleries
and sports and recreation facilities for area residents.
Saifi also has its own Quartier des Arts, a lovely
cluster of art galleries, antique stores and artisans'
more than 5000 years, Beirut has been the gateway
of trade routes, capitalizing on its strategic location
as a major Mediterranean port.
Beirut Souks are located at the heart of the city's
primary road network, adjacent to the expanding port,
the hotel district and historic core, with a direct
link to the newly redeveloped international airport,
and will be linked to the greater Beirut transportation
Beirut Souks are re-emerging as the major modern regional
commercial destination of the third millennium, and
will play major role in reactivating the city center
of Beirut, both financially and culturally.
shopping district in the heart of Beirut. The souks
constitute a unique environment that integrates archeological
features and gardens consecrating the historical value
of the place. The built up space is more than 100,000
sqm of diversified retail and leisure environment
International department store / 17,000 sqm
- Entertainment complex comprising 14 screen Multiplex
- 200 retails shops of different sizes on pedestrian
streets 45,000 sqm
- Offices / 19,000sqm
- Food hall and gourmet stores / 3,500 sqm
- Jewelry Retail Area including 100 shops / 7,000
sqm enclosed in a secure environment
- Restaurants, coffee shops, etc. / 4,500 sqm
The Souks benefit from state of the art infrastructure
and underground car parking facilities for approximately
Souks themselves constitute a pedestrian area where
visitors can stroll along streets, some covered and
protected from the sun, such as Souk Al-Jamil and
Souk Al-Tawileh and other open to the sky, such as
Souk Ayyas, for shopping and entertainment in various
shops, restaurants and cafes.
project combines the preservation of the site's architectural
heritage with the technology of modern commercial
centers. A unique environment, which integrates archeological
features, gardens and modern urban furniture, is thus
created, consecrating the historic value of the place
and enhancing its attractiveness.
construction of the southern part is expected to be
completed by 2009.
design of the Master Plan sensitively incorporated
the ideas of Lebanese and international award winning
Moneo and Samir Khairallah and partners – for the
Kevin Dash in association with Rafic Khoury – for
the jewelers souk.
Valode & Pistre in association with A. K. Kassar
– for the entertainment complex.
Dimitri Alatzos Asociados (Spain) for car park design
and management systems.
Olivier Vidal – for the souks open space planning
Souks a regional destination
major regional commercial center and destination.
The major development in the SOLIDERE project.
Uniqueness and diversity, high quality infrastructure,
design, location. Business opportunity and quality
Creates a unique environment.
A major boost to the economy.
A complement of high street retail shops in the Beirut
The largest retail development in Lebanon building
on 5000 years of experience.
Downtown, visitors can view the splendid late 19th-century
and early 20th-century structures in the Tabaris and
Gemmayze areas of Ashrafieh, which is located on the
eastern edge of the city center.
art galleries and upscale antique shops dot the streets
of Tabaris and Gemmayze, selling artworks and antiques
from the 17th century and onward. Sassine Square,
further up the hill, is a major shopping and commercial
center, with some of the capital's most upscale boutiques
lying along Elias Sarkis Avenue.
to Downtown and also in the Ashrafieh area, Monot
Street is Beirut's undisputed nightlife hub, with
dozens of pubs and nightclubs housed inside renovated
Lebanese homes and ultra-modern new structures.
Street pulsates with activity, especially on weekend
nights, as Beirut's fashionable youth bar hop up and
down the scenic street.
the Champs-Elysees of the Middle East, Hamra has undergone
quite a change over the past 30 years.
formerly upscale shopping street still vibrates with
energy, but it now resembles other typical Arab shopping
streets where visitors can purchase Middle Eastern
rugs, souvenirs, and reasonably priced clothes and
accessories while haggling over the price of the merchandise
with the many vendors.
priced restaurants and cafes dot Hamra Street. A few
streets down lie youthful Bliss Street and the splendid
neo-Ottoman American University of Beirut campus.
out west lies Verdun, Beirut's answer to Fifth Avenue,
with luxury shopping outlets and high-end shopping
centers housing some of the world's most prestigious
designer brands. Built mostly after 1990, Verdun is
ultra-modern, its shopping malls world-class, and
its restaurants and cafes among the most luxurious
in the country.