Apartments and villas are homes, not investments
I am writing in regard to the recent property rush in Dubai (Sales launch for Emaar in online shift after chaos, April 16).
Why do property developers offer villas at sale prices? Generally, it's because business is slow and it is a way of generating trade.
But surely they have got it wrong in this case: if there are 188 villas for sale and more than 500 individuals wanting to buy them - including people who just want to make a fast buck by reselling - then any student of economics will tell you that it is a situation of excess demand.
How do you alleviate that? Let the market operate; the price must be higher.
Governments sometimes sell properties at a discount - an example being the sale of council houses in the UK under Margaret Thatcher. This enabled low-income households to gain a foot on the housing ladder.
There should be a stipulation that the buyer should live in the property and cannot resell it for a given period of time.
We should get back to thinking about villas and apartments as places to live, not as assets for speculators to make fast returns.
M Sayers, Dubai
Physics shows need for belts
I refer to the letter All passengers can't buckle up (April 18), in which one reader highlighted the difficulty of restraining four children in the back of a car that has only three seat belts.
Although the writer says he understands how important it is to buckle up, I wonder if he truly grasps the physics of a car crash.
Put plainly, if a car travelling at 60 kph crashes, anyone in that car who is not wearing a seat belt will continue to travel at 60 kph. In the case of a three-year-old child, this will most likely be straight through the front windscreen.
Crash tests have shown that, even at this speed, the impact of this is the same as dropping the child from a third-floor balcony and is likely to be fatal.
I urge anyone who is still considering the usefulness of seat belts for their children to watch one of the child crash tests on YouTube. Those parents with four or more children should consider buying a people-carrier or any other type of vehicle that offers more seat belts in the back.
Name withheld by request
Online registration would end queues
I don't understand the need for "nightmare queues" for people to re-register their Sim cards (Mobile phone users' long stay on the line, April16).
In this age of advanced technology, Etisalat and du could have facilitated re-registration online.
Do they like seeing hard-working people queuing for hours just so we can continue to use our mobile numbers? Or are they hoping that most of us will give up and just buy a new Sim card after the deadline?
Name withheld by request
Education may put end to trafficking
I am writing in reference to human trafficking (New law to protect domestic workers, April 18).
It would be good to know how the current laws are being implemented and how effective they are.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the punishment of the victims but the perpetrators of these crimes are rarely mentioned.
The country's reliance on low-skilled labour is one reason for the continued abuse. Perhaps having more educated workers would help reduce trafficking.
M Carr, Abu Dhabi
Solutions to the plastic problem
Regarding Experts question value of biodegradable bags (April 14), there are other ways to recycle plastic bags.
It would be wise to look at competing technologies which do not change the recycling stream.
Jack Roberts, US
We should stop the culture of handing out plastic bags at all shops, even for small items.
Paper or jute fibre bags are the norm in some other countries.
Joe Burns, Dubai
Why not charge customers a deposit on the bags they take?
Charging Dh1 to Dh 5 per bag, and refunding the money to people who bring their bags back, should do the trick.
This system gives people an incentive to recycle, and I believe it has worked elsewhere in the world.
Donald Glass, US