On New Year’s Eve, the town was buzzing with parties. The capital’s hot spots, Monot Street and Downtown, were packed with celebrating youth. Private parties were thrown on rooftop gardens, and many hotels and clubs offered special events.
A party at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center attracted more than 5,000 people, filling two ballrooms. Here, Lebanese pop singers Haifa Wehbe and Nancy Ajram performed for cheering crowds. Even more applause followed the Iraqi singer, Kazem al-Saher, who was repeatedly pulled back on stage for an encore and showered with confetti, flowers and rose petals.
A private party at the Metropolitan Hotel was entertained by the singer Elisa, until the crowd performed crazy dances themselves. Another party at Faraya turned out to be more mellow than in recent years, since most of the celebrants had spent the day skiing. At the art gallery Escape SD in Gemaizeh, an artistic crowd celebrated a bring-your-own-bottle party.