x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

2010 turned out to be a year of leaks and licks

At the beginning of the year, Dubai conclusively licked all the existing skyscrapers in the world with the spectacular unveiling of Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure at 828 metres.

Spectators photograph the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa on New Year's Eve. A reader praises the celebration as Dubai's own version of Times Square.
Spectators photograph the fireworks at the Burj Khalifa on New Year's Eve. A reader praises the celebration as Dubai's own version of Times Square.

At the beginning of the year, Dubai conclusively licked all the existing skyscrapers in the world with the spectacular unveiling of  Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure at 828 metres.

In April, an explosion aboard Deepwater Horizon, a deep sea oil rig, resulted in  leakage of around 205.8 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico,to become the  largest accidental marine oil spill in history. It was estimated that 53,000 barrels per day were escaping from the well just before it was capped.

The website WikiLeaks.com leaked confidential US government data embarrassing the administration and leaving them licking their diplomatic wounds. Julian Assange, the founder of the site, is currently dubbed as agent provocateur  No 1 but would have been hailed as a hero had WikiLeaks leaked any confidential diplomatic cables of Iran, North Korea, Venezuela or Myanmar.

In World Cup football Spain first licked all the opposition and then refused to go Dutch with Holland defeating them one-nil in the finals for its first ever World Cup title to add to the European Championship it had won in 2008.

In the English Premier League, Chelsea are leaking goals to all and sundry and are in danger of being pushed towards the bottom half of the top ten teams.

In the Ashes series, host Australia leaked enough runs and lost enough wickets in the first four matches to lose the Ashes series for the second time in a row.

And finally, in 2010 many countries managed to plug the holes in their leaky economies and successfully licked the recession.

Amitabh Saxena, Dubai

In praise of Dubai's new Times Square

I refer to the news articles Burj lights up for New Year (January 1) and Dubai revellers stranded downtown (January 2). Go, Dubai! We have our very own Times Square. Anyone going to an area with a high concentration of people for a major event should expect significant delays getting out. It happened at all the concerts I attended at Emirates Palace. It happened at the Grand Prix. It happens at the Jazz Festival.

Anyway, it's nice to see all the people celebrating together, and I hope we can do a better job managing our fans next year. Happy 2011.

Mo Halabi, Dubai

An old memory of doctor's kindness

In reference to the article The heir hunters: the remarkable story of Joyce Amina Hanafy, that ran earlier in 2010, I would like to add a brief encounter I had with her father Dr Mohammad Zaky Hanafy when I was 11 and living in Jarrow, in north-east England. I had to make an urgent call on behalf of my great uncle who collapsed at my grandmother's house. My grandmother who was unwell herself asked me to go to Croft Terrace where Dr Hanafy resided and I did so and met the very kind gentleman who came back immediately with me.

I was very distressed, but he was so lovely to me. He made my uncle as comfortable as he could and stayed with him until he breathed his last. I never forgot how kind Dr Hanafy was and point out that it was a very deprived area in which we lived and he must have been so very dedicated to work there. I never forgot him and this was 55 years ago.

Agnew Sharif, UK

Keeping up the ban on fur

The article With the new decade comes the old topic of fur (January 2) reported that on Christmas Day Queen Elizabeth II and her daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall wore almost matching fur hats. I don't get what is fashionable, sexy or hip about wearing a carcass. I thought we had progressed to the point where we understood the torture and pain these animals suffer. I guess we still don't get it. If you want to wear fur, you should have to kill the animals with your bare hands in their own natural habitat.

Raina Spaziani, Abu Dhabi

Lessons learned from toddlers

In his humourous article A new parental strategy: embrace the chaos (December 27), Rob Carroll reported on his young daughter's enjoyment of mayhem and chaos. Toddlers know to handle stress way better than we do as adults.His observation is a good lesson for those who have "grown up". Embrace chaos without getting all worked up and simply move on.

F Baasleim, Dubai

Go to the source of feral cats

In the past, Dubai has gone through periodic crackdowns on feral cats. If people stopped throwing their cats out on the street when they leave the country, then the plight of the cats would not come to this. Anyone who has a pet, please realise that it is a living being with feelings the same as your children.

SA, Dubai