News: Dubai residents unable to sleep thanks to nearby ‘disco ball’ aviation lights
Residents at one of Dubai’s most popular communities say their lives and ability to sleep are being severely disrupted by the intrusive flashing of aviation lights on a nearby building.
A new development in Barsha Heights, which is still under construction and currently referred to as Tecom Twin Tower, is causing upset in nearby residential community The Greens as it is beaming bright, “disco ball” lights into properties every evening.
Many in the community say they are enduring sleepless nights and are unable to use their balconies because of the lights, which are common on tall structures in Dubai to warn planes of the possibility of a collision.
Residents say the first light appeared about a month ago and the second was lit for the first time on Sunday, aggravating the problem. The misery is compounded by the fact that they have so far been unable to find out who owns the Tecom Twin Tower development.
“You can’t watch television or step out on to your balcony at night because these ugly lights are flashing every five seconds,” Steven Reilly, 35, an engineer from Ireland who lives in The Greens told The National.
“It’s just unbearable. Construction on the building has been on and off over the last three years, but they recently put the aviation lights up, which are being beamed at full power right into our homes.”
Other residents compared the aggressive lighting on the building to that used on space rocket launch platforms.
“I have contacted Tecom, Dubai Development Authority and Dubai Municipality but nobody is able to tell us anything,” said Ekin Bingol, 40, from Turkey.
“I live with my wife and young daughter and it is just so frustrating for us. It is impossible for us to sleep at night because these lights are flashing on and off, beaming into our bedrooms every few seconds.
“There is no escape from them at all.”
Mr Bingol said he had also been in touch with Emaar, the development company that owns The Greens, but even then he was not able to find anyone who could help ease their plight.
“I was told they couldn’t help us because the lights are coming from a building that is not on their property,” he said.
“I have even had to start watching videos on my phone in bed at night to try to distract me from the lights so I can try to get some sleep.”
Another resident said they think Emaar should be doing more to help the community in The Greens.
“Every night I get my fair share of disco lights beamed in, even through the blackout curtains we have,” said Elsie Gilmore, 55, from South Africa.
“Emaar should help us fight this as it is affecting the whole community and is having a life-changing effect.”
One tenant, who did not want to be named, said she was terrified that the value of her house was going to plummet if the lighting was a permanent fixture.
“It is like a disco being beamed into your apartment every night of the week. It is just awful,” said the Polish national.
“The only way to stop it is to use blackout curtains but I bought this property for the views.
“I had been considering renting out my property at some stage, but who is going to want to live here when there are blinding flashing lights pumped in every few seconds?”
She also suggested that the intensity of the flashing lights could pose a serious health issue.
“What about people that suffer from epilepsy?” she said.
“I have serious migraines and these constantly pulsing, flashing lights are not helping at all.”
While the offending building has no set opening date yet, it has already received a number of negative reviews online. A number of one star ratings have been left on Google for the Tecom Twin Tower by residents from The Greens.
“(These are) the sort of lights that go off at a bank during a robbery,” wrote Osama Uneeb Farooqui.
“That’s funny because we have been robbed of a peaceful night in The Greens.”
Another resident posted that the lights were making it impossible for people to get to sleep.
“They need to be removed. They are disrupting everyone’s sleep,” wrote Marianthai Skaloubaka.
Emaar, Tecom, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Development Authority did not immediately respond to requests to comment.