Prostitution is currently legal in Lebanon. Officially, Lebanese law requires that brothels be licensed, a process that includes regular testing of workers for disease. However, in an attempt to gradually eliminate legal prostitution in the country, current government policy is to not issue new licenses for brothels. As a result, most prostitution now occurs illegally.
The majority of prostitutes in Lebanon are from neighboring Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Morocco, and Egypt. Some come from Eastern Europe and Russia as well. Those prostitutes working in adult clubs are closely monitored by the Sûreté Générale—the border control agency. Their residency permits do not exceed six months, and they are deported if they are caught overstaying their permits.
Many cities in Lebanon have English names which are significantly different from their Arabic names; the Roman versions of the Arabic names are given in parentheses below.
- Beirut – the capital and largest city
- Baalbek – a Phoenician and Roman archaeological site
- Byblos (Joubeil) – another city with plenty of remains, castles and museums
- Jezzine – main summer resort and tourist destination of South Lebanon
- Jounieh – known for its seaside resorts and nightclubs
- Sidon (Saida) – plenty of medieval remains
- Tripoli (Trablus) – still unspoilt by mass-tourism
- Tyre (Sour) – has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Zahle – capital of Bekaa Valley