x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A drag on business

Readers welcome clampdown on cafe smoking. They also comment on the US pull-out from Afghanistan, rich golfers and the mall tragedy in Doha and on whether neckties are Islamic.

The move to enforce a ban on smoking in malls is praised by a number of readers. (Ryan Carter / The National)
The move to enforce a ban on smoking in malls is praised by a number of readers. (Ryan Carter / The National)

Mall cafes to be fined if customers smoke (May 31) was great news.

I do not like going to malls, because of the smokers. For the people working in restaurants and cafes, it must have been a daily torture.

I hope that finally action will really being taken to enforce the rule - a certain café at Marina Mall, for example, has never bothered to stop smokers - and that from now on we can enjoy smoke-free shopping and lunch experiences.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

It's about time that the existing rule about smoking in malls is enforced. In most rich countries, the risks and unpleasantness of smoking are well established and the habit has become something disreputable, done mainly in the privacy of your own home.

Now I hope the smoking ban will be extended to restaurants, including those in hotels.

Pierre Macdonald, Abu Dhabi

It is a shame that people still think it is acceptable to smoke in public places.

There are some very nice places to go, except that for so many people smoking spoils them, so that it becomes unbearable to spend any more than 30 minutes in a place.

Tobacco smoke stinks and damages your health, so smokers should have some consideration for others. Those who must smoke should do it outdoors.

James Magee, Dubai

When New York state wanted to ban smoking in restaurants and bars a few years ago, the proprietors put up a huge battle.

But the measure went ahead anyway. Crowds fell off slightly, then picked right up again.

Apparently for every determined smoker the businesses lost, they gained one from among those who had previously stayed away because of the smokiness.

John Ginant, Dubai

A win-win for India in Afghanistan

India asks for more coordination with US in Afghanistan pull-out was a good to read (June 9).

While the West's concerns are that withdrawal will make room for terrorists, New Delhi sees the issue more related to trade. For India, the departure of Nato forces in 2014 could be a boon to Indian businesses trading with Afghan counterparts.

K Ragavan, India


Good riddance to boring neckties

I certainly am not qualified to say if neckties are un-Islamic, as officials in Iran insist (Tie sellers the targets of Iran police, May 31).

But as a western adult male, I can tell you that any campaign against this antiquated, ostentatious, over-priced and useless bit of clothing makes sense to me, no matter who's behind it.

That said, I am always surprised to see Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other non-clerical leaders wearing windbreakers; it doesn't seem very leader-like.

I guess that look is supposed to be revolutionary and egalitarian, but to me it just looks shabby. Still, it's better than a necktie.

Tom Hannigan, Dubai

Deluxe frustration for rich golfers

Your Ultratravel magazine (May 31) made me laugh.

All those spectacularly expensive golf courses just made me think of hyper-rich people working themselves into a fury and breaking golf clubs over their knees and raising their own blood pressure.

Golf is not relaxing. Don't ask me how I know.

Richard Baksi, UK

Mall tragedy is a wake up call to all

The mall tragedy in Doha is shocking and has sent waves of sadness and chills through the hearts of all parents. It should be a wake up call to all parents everywhere (Parents of triplets who died in Doha mall fire want outside experts to investigate, June 1).

There are many summer camps and children's fun facilities in malls all over the UAE. We parents drop off our precious children and either leave our mobile number in case problems arise or get a reclamation number for pick up time.

We leave our offspring with hundreds of other children and staff in a small area and go shopping.

Like the parents of the triplets and the other children who tragically lost their lives, we automatically assume our children will be safe in the malls and play areas.

But this tragedy is a reminder that it is possible for a false sense of security to set in. With two exits blocked at the play area, a contingency plan was not followed and it ended in disaster in Doha.

If there was a fire here in a fun area in a mall in the UAE, how would they evacuate all the children?

We need a full investigation of the emergency plans of the big children's entertainment groups in the UAE so that parents can rest easier in the future knowing that safety is the top priority

Name withheld by request