(For the record, UNWTO = United Nations World Tourism Organization).

Making local and regional headlines everywhere, the UNWTO's 2013 selection for best touristic Arab city is--at least to Lebanese people--not surprising at all.

Those of us who've had the pleasure of fishing, restaurant-ing, touring and just walking around the beautiful city of Byblos know that it's a gem among rocks, but thanks to the UNWTO, it looks like the rest of the world will soon have a head's up.

Reported by lebanoneguide.com, a dinner banquet will be held in honor of Mayor Ziad Al-Hawwat, commemorating his years of achievement in the development of Byblos. It will take place in a few weeks time on May 4, at Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai, and will host several Arab leaders and diplomatic representatives, as well as Secretary General of UNWTO, Dr. Taleb Rifai.

I for one am superbly proud of Byblos for securing a well-deserved number one ranking for Arab tourism. Having visited several places in the surrounding Arab region, I can honestly say that very few cities boast such a refined historical culture with the added addition of scenery, relaxation and extracurricular activities to boot. And none more so than Byblos.

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