Dangerously short skirts; expensive cars; fine-dining restaurants; a bustling Corniche; and a basket full of angry politicians and followers… welcome to Beirut.
October 21, 2009 4:45 by Dana El Baltaji
It is hardly surprising, then, that Dubai’s party population travel to Beirut regularly and go bar hopping and meet Beiruti beauties. Not only is it cheap to get to Beirut (a return ticket on flydubai costs AED920 for a weekend, without baggage check-in), but it’s also a mere three hours away.
However, if ever you plan on travelling to Beirut during a public holiday of some sort, either Christmas or the upcoming Eid, you should note that ticket prices can get stupidly high. If that’s the only time you can take off, then do yourself a favor and buy your ticket in advance.
And if you’re going to buy your ticket in advance, you may as well book a hotel room too. For a cheap, but clean option try The Marble Tower in Hamra (AED220 a night). It’s one of a handful of cheapish hotels that don’t charge by the hour (if you don’t know what I mean, then you’re a prude, and I can’t help you. Sorry). Otherwise, the Crowne Plaza Beirut (AED745 a night) on Hamra Street is a safe bet.
One more thing: there’s the small issue of a visa. The problem is that Lebanon’s policies can be flippant; for instance, Egyptians and Jordanians have occasionally required visas to enter Lebanon, due to foreign policy tiffs. Meanwhile, EU nationals and Americans are free to enter without a visa. It’s always best to check with the embassy in the UAE before travelling to Lebanon.
Good luck getting a straight answer.