The past few days have been unprecedented in the relations between Pakistan and UAE when the chief minister of the Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, brought a delegation of more than 100 Pakistani businessmen to seek investments from the UAE. The visit was aimed to promote business, trade, commerce and explore areas of mutual investment, joint ventures and public-private partnerships.
I had the good opportunity to join the delegation when they visited the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and later the Pakistan Investment Conference at the Emirates Tower in Dubai. The delegation's presentations on the amount of business potential Pakistan had to offer was a breath of fresh air.
Putting aside the historic speeches, visits and MOUs, one thing that stood out everywhere was the hospitality of our hosts in the UAE. It is my pleasure to point out that no matter that the downturn has had its effect on the UAE, it still ranks number one in hospitality. Now we hope that these MOUs do not just stay in the files of the two countries but are implemented so that Pakistan and the UAE can draw even closer.
Mobisher Rabbani, Dubai
A pedestrian experiment
The car is the king in Abu Dhabi. Venturing out on the public streets was a little disappointing as I realise that the failure of relying solely on one method of travel. In London, we support a range of interconnecting transport systems that include cycling, motorbikes, scooters, cars, walking, and many modes of public transport.
Born and raised in the UK, I have brown skin, but when it came to crossing the roads, I found car drivers responded differently when I appeared more western in appearance.
Intrigued, I undertook a brief experiment. Wearing a headdress and traditional UAE clothing, I undertook the challenge of using the infamous zebra crossings. Although I noticed few women walking, which made my attempts of crossing the road slightly more visible, many drivers were not prepared to stop or even slow down.
But when I changed my attire to the more western dress codes - white ankle socks, trainers and knee-length surfing shorts - I found that cars slowed down and on many occasions the drivers actually waved me across the street. I clearly had found a formula for getting a car driver's attention at the zebra crossing.
Teena Lashmore, UK
An enlightened future for the Gulf
As someone who was familiar with seeing the erudite Edward Said on Columbia's College Walk, Sultan Al Qassemi's opinion article An independent intellectual sphere is vital to the Gulf (December 12) brought back memories of similar debates, forever ongoing. Mr Al Qassemi noted that the tremendous economic success of Gulf states has numbed them to diverse cultural debates.
But I do see one step backwards and two forward as "openness" is a messy term, even in the West where free debate about policy, human rights and freedom is constantly drowned out by big corporations and Tea Party-like political agendas.
Ultimately all regions will choose their own way forward, and the Gulf's newly educated young professionals are taking leaps of faith into an enlightened future. I expect many more Al Jazeeras to crop up over time.
Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi
'Batman' is not really a painter
In reference to Adam West shifts from playing Batman to painting him (December 13), we can all but hope that this is not a "new career direction" for West. At best, his paintings resembles the first attempts of a primary-school child, and a markedly untalented child at that. Given the hefty prices sought for his works, however, he need only sell one or two to a few undiscerning fans to make good on his venture.
I can't think of a more undeserving use for money, given the economic climate and the season. Nothing against the iconic West, but he should stick to his goofy straight-man routine and leave the art to the artists, among whom he does not number.
Peter Glawatz, Abu Dhabi
The end for West Ham's manager
In reference to the sports article Grant should face the bare facts (December 14), the West Ham manager Avram Grant has had ample time to get results and cannot rely on excuses. He has simply not accomplished the job , and although he inherited a mess, he has not done anything to make it better.
In my view, he has to go, and quickly, or the club is finished, full stop.
He cannot motivate this group of players nor can he employ the right tactics to get the best out of them.
Gary Portugal, UK