This Thursday, March 24, 2016 photo shows the Beirut horse racetrack in Beirut, Lebanon. The course in the heart of the capital is set inside a pine forest reserve walled off from the city’s concrete warrens. (AP Photo)
Critics say his vision is too narrow.
"A golf course is something which is extremely elitist and is ecologically unsustainable," said Mona Fawaz, an urban planning professor at the American University of Beirut.
Inside the grandstands, the debate draws little concern.
Bilal Shafwan, a 47-year-old taxi driver who has been coming to the races for 35 years, said he believes some of the city politicians are still getting some money out of the track.
"If they couldn't steal from the racetrack, they would have closed it long ago," he said.