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Where to shop in Beirut - a guide to where to go and what to buy

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Keen to establish itself as an international tourist destination, Beirut’s retail industry has seen an influx of world-renowned designers, high-end boutique stores and sprawling shopping malls sprout up around the city. A clear sign that Beirut means business, these modern retail hubs play host to everything and anything a shopaholic could desire. Those with an expensive taste are well catered for, with many visitors seeking the luxury jewelry, leading fashion brands and the latest consumer goods that Beirut has become so well known for selling.

George Mahfouz

My Destination local expert on

Beirut

Beirut Souks

 

A popular shopping mecca for Beirutis and visitors alike, the Beirut souks have transformed the downtown area of the capital and brought with it a flourishing commercial appeal. Designed to fit seamlessly alongside the architecture of old, the contemporary structure is overflowing with a decadent range of luxury goods, ranging from designer clothes and jewellery as well as the latest consumer goods from many well-known brands.

 

ABC Mall

 

Located in the Achrafieh neighborhood, ABC Mall is another clear indicator of Beirut’s passion for retail. It offers slightly more for those on tighter budgets, but with an exceptional range of stores that sell all manner of goods, many of which are western imports. Those who like to shop till they drop can take refuge in the numerous restaurants and coffee shops dotted throughout the complex.

 

Earth Market

 

For something altogether more authentic, head to the Earth Market in the Hamra district. Held every Tuesday morning, local producers from nearby farms sell a whole host of delectable treats. Follow your senses as you navigate through stalls packed full of vibrant color and rich aromas. Selling a whole host of tempting Lebanese delicacies, it’s a fantastic chance not only to try something new, but support the vital local farming traditions.

 

Agial Art Gallery

 

Specialising in local talent, this contemporary art gallery exhibits an exciting range of paintings, sculptures and ceramics with a strong influence from the Arab world. Held every month, the Middle East’s most renowned artists showcase their stunning works and make for an ideal memento of your trip to the city.

 

L’Artisanat Libanais

 

Situated in Achrafieh, this quaint boutique store is famed for its high quality souvenirs. Stacked full of traditional goods, this treasure trove is the perfect place to pick up some authentic gifts. Selling everything from handmade footwear, art, jewelry and crafts it’s an ideal alternative to the westernised malls.

 

Souk al-Ahad

 

More traditional than the modern Souk in the Central District, Souk al-Ahad is an ever expanding and thriving marketplace organised and run by locals. Every Saturday and Sunday under the highway bridge near Corniche al-Nahr the area is flooded with stalls selling all manner of wares. A great place to rub shoulders with the locals, the atmosphere is charmingly chaotic. Sift your way through the vast assortment of knick-knacks in search of buried treasure as rare gems can be found and those wishing to really immerse themselves in the culture can hustle and haggle for the best bargains.