17 Jan 2015 16:00
With 18 lifts and 18 kilometers of slopes, Mzaar Kfardebian is one of the biggest ski resorts in the Middle East. Located between 1600 and 2 800 meters of altitude and only 44 kilometers north from Beirut, the station is also one of Lebanon’s greatest open secrets. It host up to 100 000 visitors each year, including many tourists from Arab countries. “Lebanon is special because the sea is very close to the slopes. In April, you can go skiing in the morning and to the beach in the afternoon”, explains Christian Rizk, Executive Director of the station, proudly. “Mzaar Kfardebian can be compared to a small ski resort in Europe”, he adds. Open since the beginning of the sixties, Mzaar Kfardebian was developed into a modern resort in 1992, after the end of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1991). It’s owners have since then invested millions of dollars to make it as modern as any ski resort in the Alps, although the resort has kept its Middle Eastern charm, with visitors tanning while enjoying a shisha and playing “dabke” (traditional Lebanese drum) at the bottom of the slopes.
Article available upon request in English and French.