It seems that Lebanon is at last enjoying a passé of peace with prosperity in tow and Beirut has taken the lead with its effervescent art, cuisine and nightlife that rivals cities such as Los Angeles, Amsterdam or even London or New York has to offer. The fact that Lebanon is such a small territory making nowhere within its borders more than two hours’ away makes Lebanon among the rare places that allows people to bask by the beach when the sun is simmering and go skiing after lunch before finishing the day off with a vibrant and pulsating night at one of its exhilarating and electrified clubs.
Currently away from its chaotic past this beautiful historical city is gearing up to enhance its position as a competitive tourist destination that goes beyond the music, art, fashion, and multiculturalism with new developments that are going to raise the bar of Middle Eastern tourism, for a few years the skyline was full of neon tower crane signage in Beirut with the Port region being rehabilitated and reworked to be what many are regarding as the Mediterranean cruise capital of the region.
The rehabilitation of the bay area involves building an all new container terminal that will be backed by 5 administrative buildings covering 18Km and as if that was not enough they added a 10Km warehouse beautified by a 2square Km park. In essence the port of Beirut has been enhanced in such a way that it has become more effective in managing the shipping traffic that goes through the port. However the real agenda behind it all was focused on at creating a community-oriented venue on the waterfront that acts as a catalyst for regeneration of the port and the City of Beirut and accelerate the City’s transformation into a Mediterranean Cruise capital with waterfront regeneration projects.
These ‘so called’ regeneration projects are more like revamps that will encompass entertainment zones, markets, event halls and exhibition venues that carry unique architectural themes that can be observed from the planned decks and pedestrian bridges flanked by observation platforms and shelters with full blown light-towers as the backdrop.
Apart from that other developments in Terbol and Damour towards the southern borders of Beirut a conceptualised conventional Lebanese village is being developed involving around 735sqkm with expected completion dates set for the end of 2020. This project will be flanked by a shopping mall, a 5 star hotel, a public school and a community centre apart from an amphitheatre and restaurants. Investments into real estate have taken a turn for the better which simply means that more is to come soon in the form of a medical centre and educational facilities. The story of Lebanon is akin to that of the phoenix as even the Old City of Medyar will soon be boasting hotels, bistros, cafes, a bazaar filled with shops and restaurants and a much awaited cinema complex.
Lebanon as it was; already was a recipient of a significant count of tourist receipts and with the current additions and the planned upcoming additions, the sky will not be the limit for this rising star among the Middle Eastern destinations.