Although the 2008 Financial Crisis threw a wrench into their plans, Hard Rock International is focusing again on launching three hotels in the Middle East with Beirut among the candidate locations:

Hard Rock International, the US café and hotel chain, will kick-start a stalled plan to launch branded hotels in the Middle East as it moves to broaden its portfolio, its CEO said Tuesday.

The Hard Rock business, which operates 15 properties worldwide, said in 2007 it would roll out hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but the plan was put on ice after the onset of the global crisis.

The US chain is now eying a portfolio of 40 hotels by 2018, to include a trio of properties in the Middle East. The UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Beirut are all potential locations.

Hard Rock International’s regional franchisee, Beirut-based Hard Rock Middle East, is also planning to expand their restaurants.

Franchisee Hard Rock Middle East, which operates six outlets in the region, plans up to five more cafes in the next three years, and to upgrade its existing assets.

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The firm is planning to upgrade is existing restaurants in Bahrain, Beirut and Cairo within the next two years.

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