Welcome to Lebanon

Lebanon has always been a special country. Despite the recent years of war, Lebanon's long history, natural beauty and spirit of its people give it a place in the hearts of all whom have been there. With its legendary hospitality, natural and touristic sites and its delicious food, it is indeed a unique place to visit.

Lebanon is located at the meeting point of three continents, and over the centuries, Lebanon has been the crossroads of many civilizations whose traces may still be seen today. Its countryside is a place of rocks, cedar trees and magnificent ruins that look down from the mountains to the sea.

It's Arabic name "Lubnan" means white; the color of the mountains. In winter the high peeks are covered with snow and in summer there line stone slopes glimmer white in the distance.

Two rocky ranges traverse Lebanon parallel to the sea coast, separated by the high plateau of the Beqaa valley. On the coast are five famous towns known to every archaeologist: Berythus (Beirut), Byblos, Sidon, Tripoli and Tyre; the names of Ancient Phoenicia.

Location Lebanon was the Attraction to the Eminent Figures of history, and is unique among world countries in being at the crossroads of three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe.

Its ideal location on the Mediterranean sea in the lee of Mount Lebanon, and its moderate climate has attracted the eminent figures of history enroute to conquest, such as: Ramses II, Sargon, Darius, Alexander the Great, the Caesars, Salahuddin, Tamerlane, Hulaghu Khan, and Napoleon. Whom most left their imprint on Beirut and neighboring sites.

General Information Lebanon is a liberal democracy with a constitution agreed upon in 1926 but amended many times since then (last time was in 1990). The Lebanese Republic achieved independence in 1943.

The political system was then adapted to satisfy the deep sociological and historical needs created by the presence of eighteen religious communities within the country.

Despite the resent years of war during the period 1975 to 1990, Lebanon nowadays resembles an extremely active building site.

 

 

Area 

10,452 km2

Population 

3,562,699 (2002)

Capital 

Beirut

Capital population 

1,452,112 (2002)

Official language

Arabic

Second language

French & English

Religions

Muslims 75% - Christians 24%

Measures

Metric

Time

GMT +02:00 - US EST +7

Electricity

110/220 V, 50 AC

Currency

Lebanese Pound (see below)

Int'l Dialing Code

00961

Business Hours

Government Offices

8:00 to 14:00 (Mon to Sat)

Banks

8:00 to 12:30 - to 12:00 Saturday

Shops & Malls

9:00 to 18:00 - to 17:00 in Summer

Private Sector

8:00 to 17:00 - with one or two hours lunch break

Note: during the holy month of Ramadan working hours are usually reduced.

 Entry Requirements A valid passport and a visa are required to enter Lebanon. Visas are delivered by Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad.

Lebanon has always known the freedom of money transfer, permitting any person to bring in or take out any capital of his/her choice at any time without restriction.

Note: No Israeli stamp or any crossing point with Israel stamp should be on your passport this includes Araba border, Sheikh Hussein border, Rafah border, and Taba border.

Currency & Exchange Facilities The currency of Lebanon is Lebanese Pound (called Lira) - 1 US Dollar equals LL 1513.750 (1 May 2001).

The currency of Lebanon is Lebanese Pound (called Lira) - 1 US Dollar equals LL 1513.750 (1 May 2001).

Coin denominations are: 50, 100, 250, and 500 liras. Paper denominations are: 500, 1000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, and 100.000 liras.

After the drastic devaluation of the Lebanese currency in the late eighties, the whole economy is dollarized. Though today many transactions are quoted in the Lebanese currency, large purchases and real estate deals are conducted in US dollars.

Major credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express, are accepted in large establishments throughout the country. ATMs are becoming more numerous and many are located outside bank branches and in the business areas of major cities.

Climate Lebanon enjoys an essential Mediterranean climate with rainy winters and long warm summers with an average of 300 sunny days a year.

The winter is mild on the coast and snowy in the mountains. Annual rainfall ranges from 700 to 1200mm.

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