I visited Zaitunay Bay this past Saturday, several months after my first visit, so I was able to see the place with all its newfound hype.
The last time I visited, the place was very new. We were among the few people there. This time, however, was different.
To say Zaitunay Bay is crowded would be stating the obvious. It would also be a gross understatement. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s the new “it” place in Beirut. People will get over it eventually.
Until then, here are some things I observed.
1 – Lots of Arab tourists. Taking poses on the boardwalk, taking pictures with yachts. Buses dropping them off and then picking them up when they’re done. The khalijis have apparently left their previous favorite Beiruti destination ABC and are not hitting the Bay.
2 – Lebanese girls: you know those New York Times articles that talk about Lebanese girls walking on Zaitunay bay’s boardwalk in heels? They are actually true. My friends and I were sporting your regular everyday clothes. To say we were underdressed would be laughable. We were almost beggars compared to the girls with full makeup and designer clothes, coming to strut on the boardwalk. This isn’t a catwalk. This is a marina. You’re supposed to come here to have fun and not trip 23 times/meter while walking. But they gave us a pretty good laugh.
3 – Sturdiness: The place is very well-built and has many nice views of Beirut’s waterfront, as well as the Lebanese mountains. Do I think it’s enough for publications to gush about it? Absolutely not. It’s not a ground breaking project. If anything, it’s highlighting the shallow part of Beirut that I don’t particularly like. But for an hour or so, taking a walk around it is nice.