Official name: Lebanese Republic
Form of Government: Unitary parliamentary multi-confessionalist republic
Head of State: President Michel Aoun
Population: Approx. 6,184,701
Area: 10,452 km2
Other Major Cities: Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Zahle, Jounieh, Batroun, Baalbek
Language: Arabic, with French & English used extensively in commerce and by many Lebanese as a second language.
Time: GMT+2hours, in summer GMT+3
Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP)
Exchange rate: USD$ 1.00=1500 LBP
Electricity: 220volts AC, 50 Hz , using rounded 2 prong plugs.
Credit Cards: Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and larger shops, including American Express, Visa Diners Club, and Master Card.
Religion: Lebanon is the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East. As of 2014 the CIA World Fact book estimates the following: Muslim 54% (27% Shia Islam, 27% Sunni Islam), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Melkite Catholic, 1% Protestant, 5.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%. (94% of the Arabs, 5% Armenians, 1% of the roots of other non-specific)
A note when visiting Mosques and churches: In a mosque you are required to take your shoes off.
Men are expected to wear trousers and women to cover their arms, legs and hair. In a church men are expected to wear trousers and women to dress conservatively.
Climate: Lebanon has a moderate Mediterranean climate. In coastal areas, winters are generally cool and rainy whilst summers are hot and humid. In more elevated areas, temperatures usually drop below freezing during the winter with heavy snow cover that remains until early summer on the higher mountaintops. Although most of Lebanon receives a relatively large amount of rainfall, when measured annually in comparison to its arid surroundings, certain areas in north-eastern Lebanon receive little because of rain shadow created by the high peaks of the western mountain range.
Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol is widely available in hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.
Eating and drinking: Hotels offer a diverse range of food and beverages outlets from coffee shops to fine drinking and specialty outlets. Outside of the hotels, small eating places are available too & fast foods & cafe-restaurants. The enormous variety of restaurants ensures an equally wide range of prices. Traditional Arabic cuisine and wide choice of international cuisine are available. You will find some fantastic cuisine in Lebanon.
Also you can enjoy the night life in Lebanon
Tipping: Tipping is not compulsory but customary and always appreciated.
Weights and Measures: Lebanon uses the metric system for weights and measures.
Dress Code: Lebanon has a reasonably relaxed dress code. Beachwear is acceptable at beach clubs, in the hotel, at the pool or on the beach.
Embassies: Most countries are represented in Beirut by an embassy or consulate. Contact our representative for details on location, contact numbers and working hours.
Postal Services: Postal services are available at post offices which are found in the capital, Beirut and most other cities.
Taxies: Taxis are abundantly available but it is advisable to agree the cost beforehand.
The same applies to long journeys. Taxi drivers are friendly, know the city well, and usually speak English.
NATIONAL FLAG OF LEBANON: The flag of Lebanon is formed of two horizontal red stripes enveloping a horizontal white stripe. The white stripe is to be two times a red one. The green cedar (Lebanon Cedar) in the middle touches each of the red stripes and its width is one third of the width of the flag.
Presence and position of the Cedar in the middle of the flag is directly inspired by the mountains of Lebanon cedar. The Cedar is a symbol of holiness, eternity and peace. As an emblem of longevity, the cedar of Lebanon has its origin in many biblical references.
The cedar of Lebanon is mentioned seventy-seven times in the Bible, especially in the book Psalms chapter 92 verse 12 where it says that "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon"
For the Lebanese, the cedar is a symbol of hope, freedom and memory. In 1920, in a text of the proclamation of the State of Greater Lebanon, it was said: "an evergreen cedar is like a young nation despite a cruel past. Although oppressed, never conquered, the cedar is its rallying. By the union, it will break all attacks".
The white color on the flag represents the snow as a symbol of purity and peace.
The two red stripes refer to the Lebanese blood shed to preserve the country against the successive invaders.
COAT OF ARMS OF LEBANON: The coat of arms of Lebanon consists of a red shield with a white bend sinister on which is placed a cedar tree. It is very similar to the flag of Lebanon.