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Remove illegal dishes: Dubai residents told

By Parag Deulgaonkar

A warning has been issued to residents of Discovery Gardens in Dubai: “Remove satellite dishes/ antennae from roofs and balconies or else violators could face vandalism charges.”

Nakheel Facilities and Owners Association Management has put up notices in the master community of over 20,000 residential apartments saying satellite dishes need to be removed by March 10.

“During our inspection we have noticed that there are satellite dishes/ antennae installed on the external façade/balcony/roof of some buildings. Hence, we would like to remind all residents in Discovery Gardens that such practice is deemed illegal,” the notice reads.

It adds that under Section 6.2 of Discovery Gardens Community Use Rules that “users must maintain at all times the exterior appearance of their properties in a manner which befits the overall standards of development contained within the master community to the reasonable satisfaction of the managing agent.”

The notice also mentions restriction includes installation of satellite dishes on or over the balconies/roof tops exposed to public view that materially alters the appearance and integrity of the building.

Furthermore, Section 7.1.2 also states that community users must not make any modifications affecting the appearance of the exterior of any property, including but not limited to balconies, awnings, canopies, sunshades, front and rear fencing, air conditioning units and related equipment, fans, screens, gutters, storm doors, satellite dishes, external radio or TV antenna and enclosures of any kind, painting of the exterior, permanent decorations (excluding holiday decorations) or any other changes without the prior written approval of the managing agent and relevant authorities (including the Civil Engineering Department and Environment Health and Safety Departments of the Ports and Customs and Free Zone).

“If you fail to comply within the stipulated timing, satellite dishes will be removed at the owners’ cost, with the involvement of the local authorities, Trakhees and/or Dubai Police, if necessary,” the notice states.

It goes on to advice residents that du, telecom service provider, reserves the right to provide satellite service and other telecom services in Discovery Gardens.

Crackdown has begun

On February 25, 2016, Emirates 24|7 first reported that a major crackdown had begun in Discovery Gardens with scores of “illegal” satellite dish antennas being removed.

Since 2010, Nakheel, the master developer of the community, has been working closely with Trakhees, the regulatory arm of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in Dubai, to inform residents to stop installing dish antennas on the terraces and balconies and hang sheets, clothes, curtains, rugs, mops or laundry on balconies or railings of homes. Several notices have been issued with warning being given to residents.

Residents have been informed through notices that violation can result in fines of Dh500.

In 2015, the Department of Economic Development rolled out a campaign, taking down illegal satellite dish antennas.

One of the prime reasons for residents opting for satellite dish antennas is that they are far cheaper than the official TV packages within the country. A Dish TV package, beamed through a satellite dish antenna, costs between Rs2,500 to Rs3,000 (Dh200 to Dh 240) for a year, with a bouquet of Indian channels on offer, compared to Dh120 a month for basic Hindi channel package.

Abu Dhabi – Dh2,000 fine

In March 2015, the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City started strictly enforcing a local law regulating satellite dishes, calling upon landlords, tenants, investors, and real estate companies to remove the dish antennas along with cable extensions that are mushrooming in a haphazard manner on the walls, rooftops and balconies of buildings, or face a hefty fine of Dh2,000.

Sharjah - Dh500 fine

Although there has been a law since 1997 on dish antennas in Sharjah, the emirate started enforcing the regulation strictly in 2012 banning residents from installing satellite TV dishes on their balconies or roofs with violators facing fines of up to Dh500.

All these crackdowns across the emirates are aimed to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the city, all the Municipalities have said.