The ghost apartments of Beirut are haunting the economy. Permanently-drawn curtains on the city’s empty luxury high-rises and dust gathering over shuttered storefronts in the Beirut Souks mall offer a glimpse of the economic gloom gathering over one of the world’s most indebted countries.
Lebanon’s builders know how to profit from a crisis. The job of rebuilding the country after its civil war was a boon for the construction industry, and contractors were anticipating a similar bonanza from an end to fighting in neighbouring Syria. But their plans have been frustrated.