Abu Dhabi is spending millions to build itself up as a major broadcasting hub, and is home to broadcasters such as Sky News Arabia and CNN’s Middle East service. At the same time it has started removing what its Town Hall has described as “illegal dish installations”.

On November 25th city workers started removing dishes. Residents have been told they can subscribe to cable services from telco Etisalat.

Official notices say: “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 November 24th.

Earlier this year the Abu Dhabi municipal authorities warned that dishes had to be removed from rooftops and apartment balconies. The authorities say that only 4 dishes can be installed on any single building, and that extra dishes damage the aesthetic image of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.