Many ship owners too complacent about piracy risks
I am writing in response to Staying a step ahead is key to beating pirates (November 28).
I agree that we can expect further pirate attacks early in the new year. People are becoming just too complacent.
More worrying is that far too many operators are relying too heavily on armed guards and are not hardening their ships to any effective degree.
I work in the security industry and three out of five ships we inspect are woefully underprepared.
The new standard, Best Management Practices Version 4, is being ignored more than the operators will admit.
C Ledger, Dubai
Celebrations are well deserved
I enjoyed reading 7 emirates celebrate strength as a nation (November 30).
In spite of the limited water resources and harsh climate, what was once desert has developed in to a beautiful country with modern infrastructure.
This should be applauded, as should the commitment of the Rulers of the country.
I hope everyone in the UAE had a very happy, safe and healthy National Day.
K Ragavan, India
If I had just arrived in Abu Dhabi as a tourist, I suppose I would be scratching my head about the streetside signage simply displaying the number 41.
Of course, it is the number of years since the formation of the UAE. It is worth considering how short a period that really is - about half the expected lifespan of the average person.
While there have been a few missteps along the way, the fact is that the UAE has very quickly become a highly functional and inclusive nation.
It's worth noting that many countries that have been around for a lot longer than the UAE are in far worse shape, socially, economically and politically.
Where this nation is right now is a tribute to the very hard work and great vision of the UAE's founders, and to the people from all backgrounds who have helped to make it happen. John Armstrong, Abu Dhabi
Accessibility not just a concept
I am writing in reference to The capital's battle to make paths easier (December 1).
I live in a building that was completed about three months ago and I have to struggle to climb two 30-centimetre-high steps.
This is a great challenge for people in wheelchairs and less-abled pedestrians.
The authorities must check not only the design of new buildings but ensure that the ramps are actually installed on completion.
J Lee, Abu Dhabi
Powerful victory for Palestinians
The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to recognise Palestine as a non-member observer state (Historic day but a long road ahead, says Abbas, December 1).
It was a diplomatic defeat for the US and Israel, which voted against the proposal.
As the Palestinians of Gaza once again pay the price for Israel's adventurism, a new world has emerged with new realities.
The reality is that Israel is more isolated today than it has ever been, and that people now have the courage to stand against it.
Israel has suffered a defeat - far greater than that of 2006 at the hands of Hizbollah - and it's time to celebrate.
This is a huge victory for the Palestinians, for peace and for people from across the world who are joining with the massive crowds in Palestine to celebrate.
The Palestinian people's journey to freedom is far from over, but this is a powerful step.
Samaoen Osman, South Africa
This news made my day. Now, finally, the Palestinians have been recognised.
I hope they receive help from western nations, as Israel did all those years ago, so they can finally get down to business.
I am genuinely happy for thePalestinian people and wish them an abundant and peaceful future.
B von Bulow, Dubai
Harassment is never harmless
I applaud the Indian authorities for the actions described in Supreme court slams failure to tackle 'Eve-teasing' (December 2).
Sexual harassment is an extremely serious matter, which can - as the story notes - lead to psychological trauma and even suicide for the victims.
Women have the right to feel safe, and to go about their daily lives without harassment. It is sad and disturbing that many men and boys think differently - and not just in India.
The message should be made abundantly clear: it is in no way acceptable or "harmless" to touch a woman without her permission
Mary Morris, Dubai