Cigarette butt set spark, but rubbish fuelled the blaze
In reference to Cigarette sparked Tamweel Tower fire (December 5), accidents don't happen, they are caused.
If a cigarette was the spark, I wonder how the investigators can say for certain where it came from, be it the balcony above or elsewhere.
What seems to be more certain is that the pile of paper and other rubbish on the ground floor was the fuel that caused the ensuing blaze.
This rubbish should not have been left out in the open.
Also, it is quite odd to me that, more than two weeks after the fire, we have not seen one dirham paid out by anyone, with the exception of assistance from the local community and neighbours.
Baseem P Fakhry, Dubai
It seems the fire was due to someone's carelessness with a cigarette.
I wonder if this person has trouble sleeping at night after causing such devastation for so many.
This is yet another reason why smoking should be considered a risk to those who are non-smokers. It's bad enough we have to put up with smoking in cafes and restaurants, let alone cigarettes causing fires.
C Murray, Dubai
If people can learn how to smoke, they can also learn how to dispose of their cigarette butts properly.
J Carillo, Dubai
Don't let hooligans hijack celebrations
I read with interest your story of unpleasant incidents at the Abu Dhabi celebrations (Women were grabbed in National Day crowds, December 5).
As expatriates, this was our fourth National Day in Ras Al Khaimah. While strolling the Corniche, my wife and I noticed a change in the behaviour of some revellers.
Youths, some on roller skates, "armed" with aerosol cans of silly string or shaving foam quite aggressively sprayed it into the faces of passersby, causing some angry reactions.
We also saw groups of young children being encouraged by adults to spray other people.
I hope this joyful, family-orientated event does not become an excuse for hooliganism.
Roger Pettitt, Ras Al Khaimah
Abu Dhabi is generally very safe and one of the beautiful things about National Day is that all residents have a chance to stand side-by-side and celebrate together.
However, some men are clearly using it as an opportunity for negative social behaviour. Maybe next year, could we have regular police or volunteer points along the Corniche where people could go in case of trouble?
Perhaps there could be an educational campaign about acceptable behaviour? Or, and I'm sorry to have to say it, the option of a separate watching area for ladies?
Sarah Bartlett, Abu Dhabi
Utility prices send wrong message
About a month after I arrived in the UAE, I was shocked to receive my first combined power and water bill.
Then the second and third bills came, and it was confirmed: utility prices are, in my opinion, too low.
I pay an average of Dh50 a month to the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, which is far less than I have paid for these services in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
All natural resources are finite, and providing them at or below cost sends the wrong message.
Higher per-unit prices may not be popular with consumers, but they will encourage us to conserve precious resources.
People will think twice about leaving a light on or a tap running if they know it's going to cost a packet.
F Hindley, Abu Dhabi
Why are Bhopal victims waiting?
I am writing in reference to Call for gas disaster justice (December 4).
More than 28 years since the Bhopal incident, it is sad that the Indian government has not been able to settle the issue.
This is one of the major disasters in Indian history, with more than 15,000 victims.
And yet, and it is unacceptable that there has been no concrete resolution.
K Ragavan, India
EU action could stop settlements
I am writing in response to International pressure mounts on Israel (December 5).
The immediate scrapping of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement, which gives unrestricted access to trade with the EU, will see an immediate withdrawal of all new settlement proposals and the eventual repatriation of all illegal settlers.
The Israel government only understands two factors: economics and power, and without its hugely profitable, bilateral trade with the EU market, it has neither.
Then perhaps, after 70 years of conflict, the international community can finally start to build a negotiated peace in this vitally important region of the world. Douglas Reed, UK