Amid the lifting of sanctions on Tehran, Darbandsar Ski Resort is hoping to draw in new tourists.
Kfardebian, Lebanon –Reaching 2,465 metres above sea level, Mount Mzaar, the highest point of the Mzaar ski resort at Kfardebien, has a breathtaking view of the Bekaa Valley on one side and the Beirut coastline on the other.
Operating for more than a half-century, the resort is Lebanon’s oldest ski resort, catering mostly to the local population. Around 7,000 skiers were hitting the slopes on a recent Saturday.
“Skiing is a Lebanese passion shared by our employees, all from the region, and by skiers from the four corners of Lebanon and even from the Gulf and the Emirates,” director Christian Rizk told Al Jazeera.
Lebanese cousins Nour and Sandra said they had come to the resort to “try a different station from where we always go, and test several slopes”. At the same time, a group of French and Swiss tourists had arrived on a “snow holiday”, with one noting: “It looks like Switzerland or the Alps; the only difference is the spoken language and the sun.”