Things to Know About Beirut

In Lebanon, the main language spoken is Arabic, although there are many dialects. English and French are also very common and are widely used. You will also find many people speaking even Italian and Spanish.

Unit of currency in Lebanon is the Lebanese Lira (LL). The Lebanese Lira is set against the US Dollar, with $1 = 1,500LL. Credit cards are acceptable mostly everywhere and there are automatic teller machines (ATMs) around every corner. Travelers cheques are not recommend (they are not generally accepted).

Cars drive on the right hand side of the road. For renting a car, an international driving license will suffice.

Lebanon and in particular Beirut experiences heavy traffic jams throughout the morning and afternoon period. Please allow enough time when travelling by road.

Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 08h30 to 14h00 and on a Saturday from 08h30 to 12h00.

In Lebanon Value Added Tax (VAT) is 10% and is charged on most goods and services. As a tourist remember to keep your purchase slips on goods purchased in Lebanon as you would be able to reclaim the VAT at the airport upon your departure.

International and local dialing codes
If dialing from outside Lebanon the telephone code is +961 followed by the local number, by first dropping the 0. Within Lebanon the 0 must be placed before all calls. For example a local number of 01-999 999 will be +961 1 999 999 if dialed outside of Lebanon. There are two telecom companies in Lebanon, Alpha and MTC and both have solutions for mobile cards.

Time Difference
There is one time zone throughout the territory of Lebanon and the time difference is +2 hours to GMT time.

110-220V / 50 Hz. (European and UK plugs). Plugs have 2 round pins.

Useful telephone numbers

Fire Brigade
Red Cross
Directory Inquiry
Beirut International Airport
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Western Union
+961 1 333 100
+961 1 391 000

Public Holidays (2010)

New Years Day
St Marouns Day
Prophets Day
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Orthodox Easter
Labor Day
Martyrs Day
Resistance and Liberation Day
Assumption of the Virgin
Eid El Fitr
All Saints Day
Eid El Adha
Independence Day
Islamic New Year
1st January
9th February
26th February
2nd April
4th April
5th April
1st May
6th May
25th May
15th August
11th September
1st November
17th November
22nd November
7th December
25th December