In a first-of-its-kind step, the Municipality of Jounieh has recently announced that it will open in the next few days a free public beach for the first time since decades after restoring encroachments on the land surrounding.
The municipality announced this good news in a Facebook post that says, "The people of Jounieh regain their right to establish the first free public beach in their city for the first time after decades of encroachments by the Bel Azur Hotel, which to this day still occupies part of the public beach that we're willing to establish and part of the fishermen's harbor, and Bel Azur is already licensed to build a cafe and not a swimming pool."
Head of Kessrwan Municipalities' Union, Jean Hobeish told Annahar that the work on restoring the beach started about a year ago. "We took the approval one month ago from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport," Mr. Hobeish explained. "We have already started processing 1500 m2 and, as soon as the news spread among the people, visitors have started to go to the swimming pool, although it is not yet equipped."
Mr. Hobeish also hoped that this move would be a gesture of hope for the rest of the municipalities to be able to remove encroachments and allow citizens to enjoy the sea near the fishermen's port.
From their side, the Bel Azur hotel management told Annahar that "they did not attack the beach and they have placed it at the disposal of the municipality since last year, and that they're in constant cooperation with the municipality for the benefit of Jounieh."
The management also stressed that "they have a swimming pool license dating back to the civil war in 1975 hanged at the entrance of the hotel, and they will always cooperate with the mayor to revitalize tourism and encourage citizens to visit Jounieh and its beach."
The new public beach will open its doors to visitors in the next few days after the municipality of Jounieh finishes its works. The team is preparing the pool by flashing and cleaning the sand and establishing public baths, as well as other facilities that will help visitors enjoy the Jounieh Sea and its golden sandy beach.