Advertising firms in Dubai have been given a three months notice by Dubai Municipality to discontinue the use of diesel generators, which are used to power billboards. Dubai Municipality will issue letters to the companies informing about the new law. The municipality has asked companies to obtain electric meters from the Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA), and go for further procedures in order to get approval for connections to the power grid.
According to the officials in Dubai Municipality, if billboards are found to be out of compliance with the new rule even after three months, then the generator will be confiscated and advertising firms that run it will face severe fines. The move is aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
“Diesel-powered generators pose a threat to the good condition of our environment,” said Yusuf Abdullah, Acting Director of the Municipality’s Building Department. “Moreover, it distorts the overall appearance of the city. Not only do they produce harmful greenhouse gases and noise pollution, but they are an eyesore. Recently, we have seen a large number of these diesel generators along Dubai’s main roads, and some of them are right in front of residential areas.”
The new initiative is part of Dubai’s strategic plan to become a green and sustainable city. A representative for Image Matters, which runs five billboards on Sheikh Zayed Road, was surprised to hear about the new rule. “We haven’t received any intimation from the municipality regarding this,” said Ulysses Wallace, an account manager. “Three months is no way near enough time to get a Dewa connection,” he said.
“I have to hire an electrical contractor, workers and it would cost about Dh40, 000, and it’s a very lengthy process that takes four to five months to complete. I know for a fact that 80 to 90 per cent of the billboards on Sheikh Zayed Road are operating on diesel generators, especially the scaffolding ones. But I’m also building a few new billboards, and usually they would operate on a generator for a few months until we get a Dewa connection. Now I have to re-assess these projects,” he added.
Companies can send their application through e-service system or by contacting through email@example.com. After examining their applications, DM shall issue the consent and send it to Dewa to fix the meters and set the connections.