Judging by the number of clothing shops clustered in Beirut's busy hubs Hamra and Downtown, it's obvious that consumer culture is second nature to locals. Downtown's rebuilding and brick-by-brick restructuring was centered around creating a haven of luxury labels -- think Hermès, Chanel and Vuitton. This being Beirut, looking the part while browsing the stores is all-important. Add to that refurbished townhouses housing boutiques in Saifi Village and upcoming neighborhoods in Mar Mikhael. In Beirut, it's truly "shop 'til you drop" -- except on Sundays, when most stores close.

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