Beirut: Gay and Lesbian
Paris of the Middle East
Beirut is the Arab world’s most gay-friendly city, despite the fact that homosexuality is technically illegal in Lebanon. Gay and lesbian tourists come on holiday to Beirut from all over the world, particularly from countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, to enjoy the fairly open society of Beirut. Beirut is also home to the Helem organisation: the Arab world’s only gay advocacy group.
As a result, although there is no immediately transparent gay and lesbian activity in Beirut, you won’t have to search too hard for the Beirut’s gay scene on holiday: the hottest club is Acid, in Sin El Fil – about a 15 minute drive from downtown, and it’s also worth checking out BQ18 in Karantina – one of the world’s most notorious clubs built underground on the ruins of a refugee camp.