It's amazing how much religious fundamentalism there is in US politics, especially in the Republican party (Iowa mixes religion and politics, January 4).
The first round of voting in a few small states will trim down the field of Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, and the hardest-line ones will I suppose now drop out.
But considering the hysterical US reaction to fundamentalism in other countries, I wonder what Americans expect the world to make of candidates such as Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann.
VJ Mehta, Dubai
That story made me wonder if Mitt Romney had faced anti-Mormon sentiment from evangelical Christian voters in Iowa.
No religious community should face serious discrimination and opposition.
Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi
Let people stay if they don't work
There is an effort to increase the number of UAE nationals in the workforce.
At the same time there are thousands of vacant properties built to be occupied by foreigners.
A simple solution would be to copy the "Malaysia My Second Home" law, whereby foreigners over the age of 50 can buy property and receive 10-year renewable residence visas but may not work.
These people bring money into the local economy without competing with citizens for jobs.
Zaki Anderson, Dubai
Parents glad to know UAE is safe
I refer to the article 20 years ahead of anyone else (January 4).
Being a mother of an expatriate who has lived in Dubai for three years, and as a visitor to Dubai, I very much appreciate Sheikh Mohammed's energetic and successful leadership.
Safety and security of our relatives in this country are major concerns for moms and dads abroad, and safety standards are very high here, which is reassuring.
Serife Senol Caglayan, Turkey
China props up North Korea
Your story US unveils 'road map' for North Korea (January 4) makes me wonder once again, how is it that Stalinist North Korea continues to survive in the 21st century when other Communist nations have evolved.
North Korea, now under Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, is the dinosaur that won't go extinct.
The answer is that China nurtures and protects North Korea, preferring it the way it is. Until North Korea becomes a greater liability than an asset to China, this throwback state will endure.
Ed Ross, US
Shopping Festival an amazing notion
As a newcomer, I am staggered by the idea of the Dubai Shopping Festival (Shoppers braced for Dh15 million bonanza, January 4).
Before I came here I thought Dubai was one big year-long shopping festival. Since then I have found that prices for many goods are disappointingly higher than I expected, but it is hard to object to the variety and choice available.
Bargains are always welcome and I look forward to seeing what I can find in the next few days.
Marian Montgomery, Dubai
Magazines must choose their focus
The letter-writer objecting to M magazine's focus on expensive goods (Confusion over magazine's target, January 4) raises a debate familiar to many journalists.
Do people want fantasy fashion, travel and food coverage - things they wish they could afford - or do they want practical tips about everyday life? Personally I like "a little of both" but each publication must make its own choices.
Michael Salameh, Dubai
Meal service just too restrictive
As a former client of one local meal service, I enjoyed reading your article Deliverance on a Plate (January 4). But nothing I read would prompt me to go in for one of those services again.
The one I used was not bad, but I hated being restricted. There are too many good restaurants, and too many tempting recipes, to be limited to a set diet, even for just certain meals.
Maria Simonides, Dubai
Complainers get little sympathy
Sorry, but I'm having trouble feeling much sympathy for the people who spent Dh12,000 to go to a New Year's Eve party (Letters, January 4) and felt that they didn't get their money's worth.
Name withheld by request