"Saifi is a place where everyone is welcome, where concrete gives way to green and friendships are born"

Saifi Urban Gardens (SUG) was established in April 2010 when renovations on the Keyrouz Building (built: 1831) and the Doctor Semaan Building (built: 1943) began. Inspiration for SUG came from the location itself, on the former waterfront of Beirut’s East Side, as well as the students of the Saifi Institute for Arabic Language (est: 2008 and located nearby) who always had such a difficult time establishing themselves in Beirut and finding an affordable place to stay.

Working with what we had, in terms of the buildings - their rooms, stones, doors, windows and typically Lebanese architecture - and in financial terms, we cleaned and renovated, keeping what we could and adding where it was needed. The result is a colorful oasis in the heart of Beirut’s historic Gemayze district, tucked away between a gas station and a bus station.

SUG continues to change and grow like the beautiful gardens surrounding it. Come experience another side of Beirut.


Saifi Urban Gardens is still family run, despite a divorce along the way. Mac and Nazih manage all the moving parts, while Em Nazih makes the food (Café Em Nazih), and Elie oversees the roof (Coop d’Etat).