Never mind the souks -- Lebanon's capital offers traditional shopping with upscale, contemporary twists.
If you’re expecting to haggle for a bargain in Beirut’s souks, think again.
“Beirut is the only city in the Middle East that doesn’t have a souk,” says tour guide Ronnie Chatah from BeBeirut. “In its place we built a shopping mall with a Ferrari dealership and valet parking.”
While there are certainly plenty of big labels on show, Beirut has a thriving art and design scene that values individuality and craftsmanship.
Coffee in copper
Beiruti’s love their coffee and there are plenty of cool cafes serving skinny soya lattes.
Published in CNNTravel.com. Copyright CNN. Photo: Glen Pearson.
Lebanon's cosmopolitan capital is going all out to woo adventurous luxury lovers.
Strolling along the crescent-shaped esplanade of Zaitunay Bay in Beirut’s
Downtown area, it’s hard to imagine that this was once a rubbish dump – and the heartland of the country’s 15-year civil war.
The aquamarine water of the Mediterranean laps languidly at the hulls of multi-million dollar yachts, while Beirut’s beautiful people eat al fresco at the high-end restaurants that line the teak promenade.
Zaitunay Bay’s shiny new marina is the city’s latest effort to shake off its war-tainted reputation. And with a yacht club due to open next year, the city is going all out to recapture the glamour of its 1950s and 60s heyday when it was a playground for the international jet set. That was until 1975, when the city was divided into predominantly Christian and Muslim halves by the infamous Green Line.
Published in Luxury Travel magazine. Copyright Luxury Travel. Photo: Glen Pearson.
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