Our pick of the best activities guaranteed to nourish the soul.Read more...
Lebanon - At a glance
Lebanon at a glance
Full name Republic of Lebanon (Al-Jumhuriyah al-Lubnaniyah in Arabic, République Libanaise in French)
Location West Asia: 33°50’ N, 35°50’ E
Border countries Syria in the north and east, Israel in the south
Size 10,452km2 (4,036 sq miles)
Climate Mediterranean with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. Heavy winter snow in the mountains.
Status Republic. President and prime minister with legislative power residing with the 128 members of the unicameral National Assembly (parliament) elected through universal adult suff rage
Population 6,237,738 (July 2016 estimate)
Life expectancy Men 76.3 years, women 78.9 years (2016 estimate)
Capital Beirut (Bayroot in Arabic, Beyrouth in French): 33°52’ N, 35°30’ E; population 2.226 million (2015 estimate)
Other main towns Baalbek, Byblos, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre, Zahlé
Economy Service sectors (banking and tourism, 69.7% of GDP), agriculture (5.6% of GDP), industry (24.7% of GDP) (2015 estimates)
Independence 22 November 1943 (from France)
Administrative divisions Eight governorates (Muhafazat) sub-divided into 25 districts (Qada)
Natural resources Iron ore, limestone, salt, arable land and water
GDP US$18,200 per capita (PPP) (2015 estimate)
Languages Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Adult literacy rate Male 96%, female 91.8% (2015 estimate)
Religion 18 officially recognised sects including Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim, Christian Maronite, Druze, Alawite
Currency Lebanese lira (LL), widely known as the Lebanese pound (LBP); for current rates see www.xe.com
National airline Middle East Airlines – Air Liban (MEA)
International airport Rafiq Hariri International Airport, Beirut (IATA/ICAO airport codes: BEY/OLBA)
International telephone code + 961
Time GMT + 2 in winter (October–March); GMT + 3 in summer (April–September)
Electrical voltage 220v AC, 50Hz – European round two-pin plugs
Weights and measures Metric
Flag Two horizontal bands of red (top and bottom), white band in the middle containing a green cedar tree, the country’s national emblem
National anthem Kulluna lil-watan (All of us! For our Country!). Adopted 12 July 1927 by Presidential decree; words by Rachid Nakhlé (1873–1939).
Main public holidays Fixed-date holidays: 1 January, 6 January, 9 February, 1 May, 6 May, 25 May, 15 August, 1 November, 22 November, 25 December. Muslim holiday dates vary according to the lunar calendar which moves back about 11 days each year. Notable holidays are: Eid al-Adha, Ras as-Sana, Ashura, Mouloud.