The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) named Jbeil - Byblos as the best Arab tourist city in 2013, and felicitated its Mayor Ziad Al-Hawwat for the outstanding achievements he made and in recognition of his pioneering role in the development of the city.
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal. It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl (????) and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades. It is believed to have been occupied first between 8800 and 7000 BC, and according to fragments attributed to the semi-legendary pre-Trojan war Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, it was built by Cronus as the first city in Phoenicia. Today it is believed by many to be the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Byblos was chosen by Condé Nast Traveler as the second best city in the Middle East for 2012, beating Tel Aviv and Dubai.
A dinner banquet will be held in his honor on Saturday May 4 at Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai under the patronage of the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Dr. Taleb Rifai, and a number of Arab leaders and representatives of the diplomatic corps.