Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Victory for Dubai residents as 'disco ball' aviation lights are turned off

Bright white strobe lighting was beamed into apartments and reflected off glass buildings across the district

Residents of The Greens complained of overpoweringly strong strobe lights on the newly-erected Tecom Twin Tower. Antonie Robertson / The National
Residents of The Greens complained of overpoweringly strong strobe lights on the newly-erected Tecom Twin Tower. Antonie Robertson / The National

Residents in a Dubai community have declared victory after bright strobe lighting that was beamed into their properties has been switched off.

Last week, The National reported residents in The Greens were unable to get to sleep or watch television due to the intrusive flashing lights from an under-construction twin tower development in nearby Barsha Heights.

Tenants said the lights had not been turned on since Thursday.

“All the lights are off and it’s amazing,” said Elsie Gilmore, a 55-year-old from South Africa.

“I feel it might be too early to celebrate just yet but I am enjoying going home at night and being able to have a restful sleep.

“It makes such a difference to my mental health.”

Aviation lights are used on tall structures to alert planes and helicopters to steer clear - but are usually small red lights pointed to the sky, rather than bright white strobe lighting.

Residents said last week they were worried about what the long-term effects of the lights - which flashed every 2-3 seconds - would be on their health.

“The lights have been turned off and it looks like we are able to back to return to our normal lives,” said Steven Reilly, 35, an engineer from Ireland who lives in The Greens.

“Now we might be able to sleep soundly at last.”

There is no opening date confirmed for the project, which it was previously said would be home to more than 400 business and residential units.

But a Google review page set up ahead of its launch was inundated with one-star reviews from angry residents.

“[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, who posted a negative review, commented how the lights were making it impossible for people to get to sleep.

“The lights do not allow anyone to sit in the balcony or properly sleep,” wrote Marianthai Skaloubaka.

The National contacted Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Municipality, Tecom, which built Barsha Heights, and Emaar, which owns The Greens for comment, but received no response.

The owner of the new towers was also not available to comment.

Updated: May 12, 2019 06:02 PM

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