On the tenth of August, 2014, the Lebanon Water Festival will ride the waves into its third edition of the festival. This year’s festival was extended to include even more events. We will travel from North to South by embracing the sand, sea and the sun!
As a water sports enthusiast, His Excellency Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon is excited about the three additional locations and water sport events during this year’s festival. It allows the public to witness a new water sport and introduce another location along Lebanon’s coast.
“I believe this initiative will bring light to all the valuable assets of our shore and it will showcase the talent of our youth and the enthusiasm of sport lovers alike,” said Minister Michel Pharaon.
Over the past few years, we have gathered close to 20,000 spectators dispersed throughout our events along the beautiful Lebanese coast. Ever since the launch of the festival in 2012, the public’s interest in water sports continue to grow both at home and abroad. Wave by wave and beach by beach, we are getting the youth on board to participate in events such as sailing, surfing, stand up paddle, diving, kite boarding and water skiing.
The synergy between the Lebanon Water Festival and Live Love Lebanon is creating a partnership that showcases Lebanon’s rich and diverse Mediterranean coast. Both platforms are creating awareness of what our beaches and waters have to offer actively highlighting coastal diversity. The Lebanon Water Festival shows how water sports are accessible to both Lebanese and visitors alike.
Lebanon offers a diversity of tourism attractions such as cultural events, winter events in the mountains, conferences and alternative eco tourism opportunities. Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon says one of Lebanon’s main assets is its presence on the Mediterranean Sea and the beauty of the coast.
“The importance of the Lebanon Water Festival is its focus on water sports and the synergy with the Lebanese people and the love they have for Lebanon. It is creating a potential for increased involvement in sports,” said Minister Michel Pharaon.
One of our main objectives is to promote leisure water sport activities in specific locations along Lebanon’s coast. Home to many different beaches and identifiable landmarks, the diversity encompassed along the coast makes Lebanon an ideal place for many sports: Jiyeh for surfing, Tripoli for kite boarding and Tyr for diving.
The commitment of the Lebanon Water Festival is to help structure and promote lessons for different sports. Since the month of June, Lebanese have been able to learn a new sport: water skiing, surf, SUP, kite with selected organizers that are involved in the Lebanon Water Festival. Lebanon Water Festival in collaboration with HSC, launched a new sailing school of Optimist boats, the only school of this kind in Lebanon, to train the youth under international rules and regulations.
Aside from reviving leisure water sports in Lebanon and repositioning Lebanon’s coast as a platform for those sports, the attention and care to the environment remains a top priority in every event we hold. By engaging NGO’s such as Operation Big Blue Association and Arcenciel with the cleanup of our beaches, we are raising awareness about the present pollution levels in our sea. We support the Blue Bahr Film Festival to educate the public on how to conserve the sea and the importance of protecting the creatures that inhabit it. With a healthy ecosystem and clean coast, Lebanese and tourists alike can continue to enjoy one of Lebanon’s greatest treasures.
This year, we are introducing three new locations: Jounieh, Raouche and Ras Maska. All three locations will add another splash of color to our events. In Raouche, there are the famous Pigeon rocks where the Stand Up Paddle boarders will paddle through the natural arching structures as part of the race. In Ras Maska, the wind conditions make it ideal for kite boarding. Lastly, at Hayali beach in Jounieh, participants in the Jet Ski race will have an international course with an optimal geographic location to complete the 3 km course.
Whether interested in waterskiing or kite boarding, there is something for everyone. Among our events, we will have a surfing competition in Jiyeh, Apnea Constant Weight Contest near the Blue Hole in Enfeh and an underwater photography contest in Tyr’s picturesque ancient underwater Phoenician ruins. The international water ski show in La Marina, Dbayeh will close the Lebanon Water Festival.
As the Lebanon Water Festival starts making waves along the coast and it continues to build an audience, Minister Michel Pharaon shares the same enthusiasm and vision for not only this year, but for future festivals.
“The water festival has become one of Lebanon’s recognized festivals after just a few years of success. We hope 2014 festival will also bring together our main cities along the shore and enlighten our summer,” Minister Michel Pharaon said.
The Lebanon Water Festival is under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism in a continued effort to grow leisure water sports for the Lebanese and for international travelers. This initiative has been growing thanks to the support of our dedicated partners who are driven by the same mission and engagement toward our country and the Lebanese people.