Sharjah bans satellite dishes

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 03-07-2012

Sharjah residents who have satellite TV dishes on their balconies, windows or roofs, face fines of up to Dh500, in a move by the Sharjah Municipality to improve the emirate's appearance.

According to The National, the civic body wants to remove all dishes.
Abdul Aziz Al Mansouri, director of technical affairs at Sharjah Municipality, urged residents to subscribe to cable providers, a service readily available in most buildings.
"We are also giving brochures to residents with details of the effects of using these dishes," he said. "The brochures are in English, Arabic, Hindi and Persian."

Residents gave mixed reactions to the ban on dishes. Most said satellite TV was the only means of keeping track of events in their countries, and watching their native programmes made them feel less homesick.

"Even if am to subscribe to the cables, no provider is offering Nigerian TV programmes like Multichoice and M Net that I can get on my dishes," said Sulah Bahoku, a resident of Nabba.
A resident of Abu Shagara, who identified himself as Ahmed, said: "Our budgets are already stretched with bills for the phones, internet and electricity, and we cannot afford another bill for cable subscriptions. Some of us will just give up on TV once this rule is enforced."
Khalil Ahmed, an Emirati who lives in Al Qasimia, said: "We cannot sacrifice the look of a city just because some people want to keep watching their local programmes."

He said removing the satellite dishes would help some people to integrate into Emirati culture and learn the language by watching local television.