Shopping in Beirut is a bit of a mash-up, like so many aspects of the city. There is a mix of international luxury goods and one-of-a-kind artisan products. You may find the former in palatial shopping malls and complexes or in crumbling former apartment buildings, but that contrast is part of the city’s charm.
The old souk of Beirut has been replaced by a glitzy “souk” of shopping streets filled with luxury labels like Hermès. Saifa Village, which is also a redeveloped area of the city center, has a few independent boutiques like Bokja, but most of our favorite finds are dispersed in various neighborhoods. These are our picks of the top shops in the city and almost all of them have a social enterprise component to benefit the local community.
Artisans du Liban: There are three outlets of this artisan emporium, each of which works with the local sustainable development NGO Mouvement Social. Our favorite location is Clemenceau in Centre Saint Antoine.
Bokja: Gorgeous cushions, furniture and fashion embroidered by refugees from the region.
Lara Khoury: Modern Middle Eastern fashion flair.
Liwan: Chic home and fashion designs inspired by a nomadic life.
Related: 7 Reasons To Visit Lebanon Now
Nada Debs: Eclectic objects and furniture by a Lebanese designer with an Orient/Asian aesthetic.
Orient 499: Treasures from souks and markets around the Middle East in a concept shop setting.
Sarah’s Bag: Sassy fashion and accessories hand-crafted by underprivileged women.
Rabih Kayrouz: Exquisite women and men’s fashion by one of the top design talents in the Middle East.