Abu Dhabi landlords and tenants ignore ban on satellite dishes
Landlords and tenants appear to be ignoring a ban on satellite dishes on rooftops in the capital more than a year after the municipality passed it.
Many buildings in Abu Dhabi still have satellite dishes visible from the street after Abu Dhabi Municipality introduced restrictions on them on March 1 last year, aimed at improving the city’s appearance.
The municipality plastered posters in lobbies of buildings throughout the year and warned of Dh2,000 fines for violating the new rules.
At the time, the municipality had called upon landlords, tenants, investors and property companies to follow the regulations. Satellite dishes and cable extensions were “mushrooming in a haphazard manner on the walls, rooftops and balconies of these buildings” the municipality said through the state news agency, Wam.
“When we get a notice, then we would remove them,” said Mohammed, from Bangladesh, who did not provide his surname. He did not know that owners of other buildings had been told to remove them.
“I told tenants to remove them and get the TV connections from Etisalat and du, but they don’t listen to us,” said another security guard, Roz Ali, whose building had more than 20 satellite dishes visible from the street.
“We hope that within few months we will remove them all and only leave four as per rules,” Mr Ali said.
The dishes are mostly placed on rooftops by men living in the UAE without their families who share apartments with other individuals. Although owners of buildings in some areas in Khalidiya and Al Zahiyah appear to have removed many satellite dishes seen their a year ago, many are still installed.
Staff at his building were removing them gradually, he said.
Since inspections were beefed up at immigration at airports across the country, single men have stopped bringing in satellite decoders from their home countries, which were cheaper than TV subscriptions.
“Now I have an authorised TV network from Etisalat and we all share its monthly rental, which is about Dh70 for basic per month,” he said. “But for full channels, including sports, we can watch for 300 Indian rupees (Dh16.43).”