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The Business of Private Beaches

Here’s one sector that hasn’t suffered through the downturn. Often secluded, always carefully chosen, private beaches offer security and exclusivity to the affluent.

July 13, 2010 6:16 by

Lebanon’s beaches

Beach season in Lebanon is a leisurely, relaxing affair. From April to October, Lebanese expats and tourists descend on this strip of Mediterranean coastline to enjoy its sun-drenched climate, mild temperatures, warm sea water, and rugged coastline. And the profit potential of the country’s 225 km coastline has not gone unnoticed. The privatization of the country’s beaches has advanced at a dizzying pace, such that only a single public beach remains in Beirut, according to Green Line, an environmental activism group based in Lebanon.

The luxurious private beaches cater to Arab tourists, who account for 40 percent of the summer tourists. Europeans account for an additional 40 percent. .

“People are in love with this country,” Lebanon’s tourism minister, Fadi Aboud said last month.”I’m expecting a very, very good summer. Probably the best in our history.”

Visitors to Lebanon’s private beaches will find an abundance of choice in the country’s sea-side resorts, including private beach access, swimming pools, water skiing, diving, and boat rentals.

A western-friendly ambience pervades the private beach atmosphere.

“Beaches brim with bikini-clad, tanned women and come night-time, clubs host Europe’s top DJs who play to audiences of thousands, many of whom are flush with cash from jobs abroad and are happy to spend hundreds of dollars on food, drink and music,” the Gulf News said last month.

The nascent tourist potential of coastline further south may soon see the privatization of coastline in Tripoli and Saida.


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