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As my colleague and I approached the huge, newly built, marble-clad building, it appeared to be empty: no cars in the parking lot, the lights off, no signs of life. It was one of the hundreds of apartment towers and office buildings that have recently popped up in the booming suburbs of Dubai, such as Sharjah and Ajman. Like many of them, it does not have access to the electrical grid. Some will not have power for several years.
Something else was intriguing about this 200-apartment building. While at first glance it appeared to be empty and lack power, a well-known local bank occupied the ground floor, complete with electric signs and a well-lit interior. If the building did not have access to electricity, how did the bank get it? The answer was at the back of the building, where two huge generators stood.
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