I have some ideas about reducing traffic problems in Dubai and across the UAE (Too many cars put Dubai in a traffic black spot, February 9).
I would like to see an increase in the number of pedestrian bridges in all cities. Also, they need to install proper and connected pavements, rather than fining pedestrians for jaywalking.
The authorities should also light up residential areas to make walking at night safer, make the city more walkable and give official permission for sharing taxis.
I would also like to see an increase in the number of buses going into and out of residential areas. We had a feeder bus in Mirdif from September 2009 until September 2010 that went past our house every 10 minutes. When the Road and Transprt Authority realised that the bus was running empty except during the morning and afternoon rush hours, it completely shut down the route rather than just reduce the frequency.
Our visitors and children were regular users of that service; now we have to drive them to the metro station, or they have to take a cab.
Dubai’s traffic problems cannot be solved by allowing only the rich to have cars and raising the Salik charges. That is, as we say in German, “saddling the horse from behind”.
Ritra Amer, Dubai
Spaceport project is very welcome
I refer to Branson vows to build Abu Dhabi spaceport in two years (February 10).
In the story, Sir Richard Branson is quoted as saying: “I hope we’ll have a space hub in Abu Dhabi in a couple of years.”
The word “vow” in the headline seems to overstate the situation, but I’d love to see a spaceport here.
Woody Evans, Abu Dhabi
Tour should take in other emirates
It was great to experience the Tour of Dubai in Hatta on the weekend.
It gave the UAE a bit of the Tour de France spirit – or I should say the spirit of Giro d’Italia, because it is RCS Sport which organises the Tour of Dubai. The Giro is much more exciting anyway.
I was interested to read Paul Radley’s article, Five ways for Dubai Tour to ride into the future (February 8), as I have also been considering how we can make the Tour of Dubai a bit more exciting and less predictable.
I agree with Radley; let’s cross the Dubai emirate borders and look for some stages where we can see heroic battles between riders like Valverde, Rui Costa, and perhaps then also Contador, Froome and Wiggins.
There is no better place than Jebel Hafeet, in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi emirate. I can already sense the nervousness, the adrenalin rising high, when from afar the riders see Jebel Hafeet. They cruise through Al Ain (beautiful helicopter shots of the garden city) and head for the mountain – and then there would be the heroic battle, for 11 kilometres, between the best climbers.
Hindri Kuipers, Al Ain
Art show involved people of all ages
I enjoyed the blog post Urban art fest in Deira (January 22).
I took my three children to see Street Con and they loved it.
Sometimes art can be stuffy and focused on a certain type of person, but Street Con appeals to people of all ages.
The best part is that you can interact with some of the exhibits. Instead of just staring at art, you actually get to be a part of the experience.
Name withheld by request
India is favouring Italian accused
The unforeseen change in the stance of India in prosecuting two Italian marines, who were accused of killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in southern India, is a clear reflection of Rome’s diplomatic pressure on New Delhi to lessen the charges so the men will avoid capital punishment.
The two marines will now be prosecuted under a different section of the maritime security law that apparently calls for a maximum 10-year jail term.
Italy recently threatened to review its diplomatic relations with India if it proceeded with prosecuting the marines on murder charges.
While the case is under its judicial review, India’s prime minister had promised Italy that their men would not face capital punishment.
Last year, India also allowed the marines to go home and vote in elections in their country. Would any other country go to such an extent in a murder case?
The duo are now staying at Italy’s embassy in Delhi, demonstrating the unusual treatment being given to them.
At the same time, the delay in the prosecution – the incident occurred in February 2012 – is more or less going to work in favour of the marines.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman