Free TV channels are available in Dubai but they are very limited in their range and number, especially when it comes to English language channels. The most popular of these channels is Dubai One which carries several popular US series, movies, and local English news programs. Other popular channels are MBC 4, for its selection of typical daytime TV shows, and MBC 2 which serves up movies 24 hours a day.
For more choice, cable TV or satellite TV are the best options. Orbit Showtime is now the only provider of these channels, but you will have a choice of several different packages including movies, kids programs, comedy channels, documentaries and sports. Channels offered within each package change from time to time. Before you sign up, check the website to see exactly what channels are being offered. You can also check out Time Out Dubai magazine for comprehensive listings of the week’s programs.
Orbit Showtime Network Packages
|Pinoy Plus||16||AED 88.20|
|Pinoy West||24||AED 128.63|
|Platinum Extra||72||AED 312.38|
|Premier Plus||65||AED 238.88|
|Movies Plus||52||AED 193.86|
How you subscribe to Orbit Showtime will depend on whether you want a cable or satellite connection.
Cable is often the only option in apartment buildings where you are not allowed to put up satellite dishes. However, before you sign up, check with your building as most modern buildings already have a television package provided. For cable TV, you have a choice between Etisalat (http://www.etisalat.ae) and Du (http://www.du.ae). Your choice is determined by the area in which you live. You can sign up by visiting one of the Du shops or Etisalat offices and they will send someone to connect you within 4 or 5 working days. You will need to provide:
- your passport including the visa page
- your tenancy contract or proof of property ownership
Some residences may not have cable access and, in this case, you will have to opt for satellite TV. This is available directly from Orbit Showtime. You can register and arrange for a company representative to contact you by going to their website (http://www.osnetwork.com) or you can visit one of their stands. These can be found in most major shopping malls. You will need to provide the same documentation as for cable TV. Someone will come and install the satellite within 7 days.