x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

A call for more creative spaces

A reader wonders if the UAE needs more than just new shopping malls. Other letter topics: the future, tenancy contracts and vocational education.

A reader asks whether the UAE needs more large, fashion-orientated shopping malls. Charles Crowell / The National
A reader asks whether the UAE needs more large, fashion-orientated shopping malls. Charles Crowell / The National

The future is a serious business

I enjoyed reading How is yesterday's tomorrow? (August 25), because TheJetsons was one of my favourite television programmes when I was growing up.

I remember thinking then - as I do now when I'm driving in the always-unpredictable UAE traffic - how they managed not to crash their flying cars into each other.

On a more serious note, it seems to me that too many people are making wild predictions about a better future and not enough people are doing things to make sure those predictions come true.

For example, many decision-makers worldwide have their heads in the sand about climate change. Clever people deny it's happening, or quibble about the reasons for it or its likely extent, purely for expedient reasons.

Worse still, some of them cynically exploit others by encouraging them to believe that there's no problem - simply because they know it would be electorally unpopular to implement the sacrifices needed to fight climate change.

I would say to them: take a look at your children and grandchildren and consider the kind of world you want them to inherit. Is it one where they will say, "My grandparents could have prevented this"? Colin Richards, Abu Dhabi

Just how smart can a camera be?

I note that the authorities are installing millions of dirhams worth of "smart cameras" instead of increasing police patrols (We'll be watching you, Dubai's criminals told (August 24).

I hope theses cameras will be "smart" enough to prevent accidents from happening.

James Donato, Dubai

More creative spaces needed

Regarding Spectaular revamp for major Dubai attraction (August 24), do we really need more shopping malls?

When is the UAE going to stop creating such an artificial world of shops with more clothes, more bags and more shoes?

I think many people want alternative shops, health shops, eco-friendly places, creative areas, and sport areas where everyone can just kick a ball or play badminton without having to enter a building or having to pay fees.

We also want old-fashioned coffee shops and cafes that make you want to come back to meet your friends and talk about philosophy, art and politics.

It is getting to me; I need to say that almost every day this beautiful UAE is becoming more and more an artificial place, rather than a real home that's cosy and cultured. Wherever we look, there are only shopping malls.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

Gestures may be a healthy release

I was concerned to read Woman fined for assaulting tourist who gave her the middle finger (August 23), which says a woman will be deported for making a rude gesture at another driver.

This is hard to believe.

My opinion is that we should allow people to "vent" against lousy driving. I bet this would help reduce road rage - and it's better than waving a gun.

There are surely much bigger and more important cases for the courts to hear than such trivial issues - for example, people and businesses who don't pay what they owe.

Bassem P Fahkry, Dubai

Changes at HCT not for the better

Reading the letter Technical courses lead to great jobs (August 6), the role of the Higher Colleges of Technology has changed over the past decade or so.

HCT's emphasis was on vocational training and it was very good at it. The certificates were for applied work, not academic.

Now it has reinvented itself as a university, meaning all these students have to find themselves positions in vocational colleges.

Why could HCT not stay what it was and a new university be created? Am I missing something?

Durdana Rizvi, Dubai

Confusion over tenancy contracts

Thank you for the article, How to get an approved tenancy contract (August 22),however, I still have some questions.

Whose responsibility it is to get the Tawtheeq tenancy contract attested from the Municipality, the landlord's or the tenant's?

Who is responsible for paying the attestation fees, and what documents must be presented during attestation?

Do both the landlord (or his representative) and tenant have to be present at the time of attestation?

Where exactly in Abu Dhabi can you get a one-year tenancy contract attested? And what are the charges?

Amit Kumar, Abu Dhabi

Editor's note: It is the landlord's responsibility to start the attestation process.