A wonderful result for the UAE Olympic football team beating the Australians on Wednesday. Roll on London.
The call for support (Our chance to support worthwhile endeavour, February 20) was answered by football fans, loyally clad in national dress. Sadly, approximately 4,000 were locked outside the gates although the 42,000 capacity stadium was barely two thirds full.
During the World Club Championships in 2009 and 2010, ticket sales and the use of stadium capacity to the benefit of football fans was very well done. What has gone wrong?
If the stadium was under repair why was it chosen as the venue? Why not Zayed City Sports Stadium? Many seats were closed off, as well as the thousands of empty seats. Advance purchasing of tickets, which was not available, is vital for a big game.
Football authorities regularly complain about the lack of support in the UAE but when the supporters do come they are locked out. At least there should be a TV screen outside the stadium for the disappointed supporters to see the game.
There were many disappointed fans tonight even if our team did win.
Ron Priestley, Abu Dhabi
Oral exams are a risk worth taking
In response to Len Kennedy's letter (In-person exams would be effective but not practical, February 23) about my article It's worth asking the cheaters a question or two (February 22), I think he makes an excellent point when he commented on the practicalities of implementing oral examinations within a big institution with large class sizes.
This was a challenge we faced at Zayed University, although our classes rarely exceed 40 students.
We made it workable by devising what we call small-group vivas. This involves the class instructor and a second external examiner questioning students in groups of three or four, with students also able to ask each other questions. It is time consuming but worth exploring.
We evaluated our initiative and it was appreciated by the students. One student wrote: "The oral exam was a different experience as it enabled me to elaborate more on the discussion topics. I believe that it is a fair assessment method because it can show how much the student has studied and understood from the lectures."
With regards to cheating, another student noted that there was no possibility of cheating if a small group of students sit around a teacher and take turns to address the examiners individually.
I estimate that it took approximately four times more effort and time than a traditional exam, so effort and hours are an issue, but ultimately we think this effort is worthwhile.
Justin Thomas, Abu Dhabi
Hoping for clearer food labelling
In response to Labels latest weapon in healthy diet push (November 25), I really hope that the labelling system works in the UAE, like it does in the US.
People need to know what they are putting in their bodies. Omitting the information necessary to their well-being encourages mindless eating. It pains me seeing children being fed burgers, fries, ice creams and sodas when they are at risk of becoming obese, so I'm hopeful that the nutritional labels will make people think twice before reaching for unhealthy food.
Michel Sabbagh, Abu Dhabi
UAE benefits from new free zones
The article GCC cannot thrive on revenue from oil alone (February 23) was very illuminating.
If new "free trade zones" are established, the GCC may become a global centre for non-oil economic activities, and foreign direct investment will pour into telecommunications, electricity, postal services, tourism, health and education.
Dilara Akay, Turkey
Brit music scene is still thriving
In A look back on the more raucous years of the Brit Awards (February 21), your article stated: "It is inarguable that British pop music is at a very low ebb creatively."
If this were really the case, a UAE newspaper would not be writing about a British music awards ceremony. I watched The Brits and was highly impressed by the standard and diversity of British acts. Take Adele, you don't become the biggest-selling album of the 21st century by being bland and boring.
Leaving aside that The Brits are for commercially successful artists, there is plenty of evidence that the UK music scene is awash with inspiration and creativity. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey, Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons and Build A Rocket Boys by Elbow are exceptional. Add to this the likes of Coldplay, Florence and the Machine, and Arctic Monkeys and you can see why the whole world is listening.
Des Brown, Abu Dhabi