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New rules for visiting Musandam, Oman, a treasure for outdoor enthusiasts living in the UAE, will make it harder to be spontaneous, a reader laments. Ali Haider / EPA
New rules for visiting Musandam, Oman, a treasure for outdoor enthusiasts living in the UAE, will make it harder to be spontaneous, a reader laments. Ali Haider / EPA

Musandam beneficial to UAE tourism

Readers' letters also comment on the historical facts of the Iraq-Iran war, friendly faces in the US, where to bowl in abayas and female-only sporting facilities.

Faisal Al Yafai's 'Ungrateful' Arabs? History shows Americans were, too (September 18) was excellent, informative and enlightening.

Any country fighting a war in another's land does it for that own interests alone (such as Russia in Afghanistan). No doubt about it.

Nothing is free.

Monica Carver, Dubai

Musandam crucial for UAE tourism

Having spent a fantastic day there last Friday, I read your article regarding the tightening of rules for UAE residents entering Musandam via Dibba with dismay and frustration (Trips to Musandam harder with stricter UAE border rules, September 17).

With us on Friday were overseas visitors and friends who had never been there before. It was the highlight of their two-week visit.

Musandam is a jewel, albeit in Oman but until now easily accessible from the UAE. Not so any more it would appear. Surely the UAE would be wanting to encourage both visitors and residents to stay here longer, by providing more leisure options, not less.

I feel for the tour operators of Musandam who are going to suffer most, including the independent boat operator we used who will now lose an important income stream.

Robert Kellner, Dubai

Excited greetings are just infectious

I always enjoy reading Reema Al Ahbabi's pieces, such as 'Wish you were here' ... but what would we talk about? (September 9) and I hope The National continues to encourage and promote Emirati writers.

I am currently living in the US, and understand how the writer feels about people here: they interact much more easily in the US than back home. I must admit however that the greetings I got initially were jarring at first. Overly animated greetings upon my entry into every store seemed exaggerated and strange to me.

My sister pointed out it would be rude if I didn't respond with equal enthusiasm. At first, I just couldn't bring myself to do it because it felt fake. But four months in and I now gladly do the greetings with all enthusiasm of a 5-year-old who just got a pony.

No, I'm not always being genuine but I realised it feels nice and its easy to make people smile. Or maybe it's just infectious.

Ruba Alhassan, US

Article off base on Iran responsibility

I know this is besides the actual point of the article The politics of outrage is still an irresistible temptation (September 13) but I couldn't help notice it has glaring inaccuracies.

It says: "Other examples quickly come to mind, from the 1988 fatwa by Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie. No doubt Khomeini used the Rushdie fatwa to distract Iranians from the consequences of the terrible war with Iraq he prolonged".

First, the fatwa was given in 1989, not 1988.

Second, the Iran-Iraq war ended in the summer of 1988 so the idea that it was issued somehow to distract attention from the war makes no sense. The war was already over.

Third, the article's assertion that Khomeini himself was responsible for prolonging the war against Iraq as an uncontroverted fact is laughable. Iraq invaded Iran, not the other way around. Iraq was the only party to use chemical weapons. To say that Khomeini single-handedly prolonged the war is just plain inaccurate.

Hiba Akb, Abu Dhabi

Where can I go bowl in my abaya?

Marina Mall's bowling centre bans both kanduras and abayas (Going bowling? Change out of that kandura now, September 18).

Being an Emirati female, I cannot bowl anymore because I wear an abaya. So where can I go now?

Anood Lari, Abu Dhabi

More female-only facilities needed

In order to encourage physical activity in the emirate, special attention must be awarded to facilities that are female-only in order to allow Emirati women to become more physically active in a comfortable environment (Dubai Sports Council wants residents to get moving, September 18).

Not only that, access to female-only facilities must be equal in all parts of the city instead of just being confined to Jumeirah and "New Dubai".

Al Mamzar Beach park does not have a female-only day whereas the Jumeirah Beach Park designates Mondays for ladies only.

Also, there is no fully-equipped fitness and leisure facility for women only in Deira, as there is in Jumeirah (at the Dubai Ladies Club).

Mahaba Al Saleh, Dubai

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