In reference to the editorial 'Marshall Plan' needs a strategy as well as funds(March 25), I share your concern about spending money in the Middle East for development "while negotiating corruption and inefficiency".
Raising the money is not a problem at all, but the big question is how to spend it to address the basic problems of youth and women by ensuring efficiency and eliminating corruption.
In the long run it is wise on the part of the government to create productive and gainful employment in various sectors. Keeping people idle and giving money to them without providing work is counterproductive.
Before launching any "Marshall Plan" or "Pan-Arab Plan for Development", the GCC must set up a planning and coordinating council to formulate both short and long-term plans covering the GCC and Mena regions by taking into account the needs, resources and potential of each country. Experts and politicians with diverse backgrounds and clean track records must be entrusted to formulate plans.
Effective execution of the plans without corruption and mismanagement is the greatest challenge. With a proper high-tech monitoring system, feedback from both the public and vigilant agencies and, above all, regular evaluation at different levels, the problem of corruptions and mismanagement can be eliminated.
Everybody must be made accountable both for decisions and implementation.
Dr Raju M Mathew, Al Ain
Frustration over lack of parking
The news article New parking restrictions rile residents (March 27) reported that only those who live on Najda Street will be allocated 24-hour parking permits. I know where the cars have gone: behind Nahel Tower on Najda.
Sometimes it is impossible to get in or out of Nahel Tower as people park across the entrance to the building.
Cars have now started to park down all the streets, reducing them to a single lane and don't get me started about the double parking down the centre of the car parks.
My husband and I personally cannot wait for Mawafiq to be introduced on the other side of Najda St.
It is also interesting that now there is paid parking at the Gold Souk and surroundings, you cannot get a parking space at the Homes R Us - Diaso car park. I think that the reality is we cannot have a free ride in regards to parking anymore.
Lee-Avinne O'Farrell, Abu Dhabi
The simple fact of the matter is that Mawaqif wasn't supposed to be rolled out until 2011/2012 in the first place, and certainly not before multi-storey car parks were built.
Thus far - zero.
Andy P, Abu Dhabi
Paying for an unwanted service
On February 22, I got a text message from Etisalat that my eLife account has been activated, without any request from me. On February 23, I registered a complaint and have followed it since then with nine telephone calls and two e-mails.
All of them remain unanswered to this day.
I have been sent an inflated bill for the service for which I never asked. I am wondering if anyone in Etisalat takes note of a customer complaint and acts on it.
RVK Singh, Abu Dhabi
New taxi drivers in need of training
The article Customer education for taxi drivers (March 27) reported that newly hired taxi drivers in Dubai may be required to take cultural sensitivity and etiquette courses. I have had the experience many times when a taxi driver refused to pick me up and made excuses. I asked one driver why and he said: "Because you are from an Asian background and we believe you won't give us tip or will have a journey of a short distance while we expect European passengers to give us more in tips and they take long journeys.''
I hope with this cross-cultural training there will be improvement.
Dr Malik Khan, UK
This dad needs a little advice
My wife and 20-something daughters are outraged that, despite being a relatively youthful 56-year-old with a full set of teeth, I have bought myself a ticket for the forthcoming concert by the dance band Faithless.
Can anyone offer any opinions as to the maximum age for attending such events featuring the popular music of the day?
Do any of your readers have sartorial advice so that I may blend in with crowd?
Should I ignore the family and just go for it? Or am I, in fact, a "sad dad".
John Deykin, Dubai