Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli

Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli
Photo in the Public Domain.

The Rachid Karameh International Fair in Tripoli is a large-scale modernist exhibition complex.

It was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and built between 1967 and 1975. It was a symbol of national pride and modernisation after independence. The fairground’s main structure, the curved Grand Canopy, is 70m wide and 620m long. The whole project wasn’t yet fully finished when the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975, and a new use hasn’t been found.

Community Perspective: all concrete structures are still there and appear to be undamaged. The entrance is free.

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Bill Maurmann

USA - 04-Jun-24 -

 The site is very rundown and dilapidated. Nevertheless Niemeyer's buildings are always imaginative and interesting. The site is reminiscent of the Sputnik era when we looked to what our space age future would be like. It reminded me of the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair designed by his disciples that I visited when a child. Unfortunately his vision of wide open public spaces never seems to attract the masses as he intended. Even Brasillia felt empty and neglected.  There were virtually no other visitors here, yet the grounds could have been a lovely park for families. The good news is that it has been identified as a future Arab convention center and Qatar and other Arab countries are planning to invest heavily into refurbishing it and bringing some prosperity into this rather depressed area of Lebanon


Netherlands - 21-Feb-23 -

Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli by Christravelblog

Tripoli is Lebanon’s second largest city and a Tripoli day trip is worth it if you're in Lebanon. It’s a completely different world compared to Beirut. I left Beirut around 08:30 and was in Tripoli at 10:00. I visited both the International Fair and also Tripoli Old Town, both worth it!

Oscar Niemeyer designed the Rachid Karami International Fair in the late sixties for the World Fair in 1976. The fair ground was never finished as the civil war broke out in 1975. Today all the concrete structures are still there and not damaged by the war. The site is a 45-minute stroll as, honestly there isn't that much to see. I did climb, the tower, which was "partially locked". I think it wasn't allowed. Access is free to all the places. All buildings are empty but you can wander around freely.

When I visited, there was some youth event going on but a real new use for the place was never put in place.

I give it a 3.5 stars, as I like this architecture and this is certainly worth a place on the WHS list.

Read more from Christravelblog here.

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Site Info

Full Name
Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli
Unesco ID
2023 - In Danger
2 4
Structure - Civic and Public Works

Site History

2023 In Danger

At inscription (Emergency Nomination), due to lack of financial resources of the State Party (in severe financial and economic crisis) and critical conservation conditions.

2023 Inscribed

2019 Revision

Successor to La foire Internationale Rachid Karameh de Tripoli-Liban (2018)


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Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli


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