Abu Dhabi begins removing illegal satellite dishes

Move will pave way for removal of all dishes and channel subscription in Etisalat

Abu Dhabi authorities began taking illegal satellite TV dishes off building and villa rooftops in line with a decision allowing a maximum four dishes for each unit within a facelift strategy serving plans for greater Abu Dhabi.

Sources said the move, which was launched on Saturday, would pave the way for halting satellite dish services to all residents to push them to subscribe for such a service in Etisalat through its internet systems already installed in most houses.

Residents in many buildings and villas in the city of around 1.5 million reported on Sunday that their satellite TV service had been completely suspended after municipal teams pulled off most dishes installed on the rooftop.

Authorities last month gave residents and landlords one month to remove extra satellite dishes and warned those who do not respect the deadline would be penalized.

The warning, the second in nearly three months, was hanged at the entrance of all buildings and villas as part of a drive by Abu Dhabi Municipality to end persistent violations and ensure a good image of the city.

“You are requested to remove violations associated with your own satellite receiver dishes within one month from the date of issuing this decision in line with official regulations to avoid any fines that may issued by the competent authorities,” said the letter, which set the deadline at Nov 24.

In July, the Municipality issued a statement in the local media urging residents to quickly remove extra satellite receiver dishes and asked owners of buildings and villas not to allow tenants to install such dishes on balconies or the building rooftop.

The Municipality said a maximum of four dishes are allowed on top of buildings and villas, adding that extra dishes and connections harm the aesthetic image of Abu Dhabi, give rise to insects and rodents and could cause dangerous water leakage during rain.

Sources close to Etisalat said a maximum four dishes would be allowed for each building or villa but that subscription would be needed to activate those dishes and guarantee reception of TV channels. They said Etisalat is planning to charge a monthly fee of Dh40 per each household and that there are plans to offer 50 free channels, adding that Etisalat could eventually do without those dishes.

“The rest of the channels would be offered for a monthly fee of Dh40....all residents will be required to apply for that service or they will be deprived of satellite TV services...after applying, Etisalat will provide the service through its internet modems already installed in most houses and apartments in the city,” one source said.




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