Oman has drawn criticism for its Royal Opera House in Muscat, but one reader argues that people should focus more on the venue's economic and cultural benefits, rather than its high price tag. Other topics covered by letter writers today: Oman's elections, teacher shortages, Abu Dhabi's film festival and pocket change.
A Royal Venue
I read front page article Turnout high in Omani election (October 17) with some disappointment. While it was a pleasure to learn that Oman was the first Gulf state - back in 1994 - to give women the right to vote and stand as candidates in elections, the results from voting for the 84-member Shura Council at the weekend saw only one woman winning a seat.
It may be the result of women having no interest in political affairs and not registering as candidates, or of men not encouraging their female relatives and friends to run.
But real transformation to a more modern and transparent political and social system will only be achieved when women are elected, and not selected.
Gaye Caglayan, Dubai
Ask teachers why they opt to quit
It is not surprising to read a news item that highlights the incredible demand for school teachers (Wanted: 2,350 new teachers for Abu Dhabi, October 16). What is surprising is how little research has been done into why there is a lack of school teachers in the first place, and the inability to meet the demands of recruitment.
I highly recommend that schools and education authorities look deeper into the matter. They would realise that most teachers do not find their jobs fulfilling but instead stressful, which leads them to quit.
The education system in the UAE requires an overhaul, along with better job packages, so that prospective teachers find relocating and working here an attractive option.
Khaled G, Dubai
Muscat's opera house is beneficial
For all the detractors of Oman's new opera house (Oman's new opera house sparks debate, October 13), how about focusing on the jobs the facility is creating? Or mentioning the addition of a top tourist attraction for Muscat and the income it will generate? And why not discuss the various businesses that will be supported directly and indirectly by the venue?
This venue should have been built a long time ago; why must people insist on short-term complaints and not a long-term vision?
Name withheld by request
A new approach to Emiratisation
Society cannot provide as many managerial jobs as the UAE's Emiratisation efforts require (Companies to be rated according to how 'Emirati-friendly' they are, October 16).
In my company, 90 per cent of the workforce is represented by labourers. Not many nationals are willing to take these types of jobs.
In Saudi Arabia the mentality is changing, probably because the population is more diversified and quite large compared to the rest of the GCC. When companies offered to train welders, many Saudis turned up, ready to learn and accept lower salaries.
The Government of the UAE is doing its best to address these issues, but the problem resides with perceptions. This is a problem that will take at least one or two more generations to change before we can witness real changes.
In the meantime, the Government could create trade schools for technicians to expand the labour pool, giving incentives to citizens who show interest in these types of jobs.
Nicola Siotto, Dubai
No use for pocket full of small coins
I recently conducted a casual check at groceries, supermarkets, restaurants and money exchange centres to gauge views on small coins. And I found that none of them are interested in the smaller denomination coins, especially 25-fil coins.
In fact, these small pieces of metal are not even accepted in the parking machines or the bus coin-drop boxes.
Relevant authorities should do something to reduce this imbalance, and machines and drop boxes should be modified to accept smaller denomination coins.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Stars deserve an attentive audience
I write in reference to your article, Evan Rachel Wood's Abu Dhabi sightseeing to include mosque (October 16). My friends are I are huge fans of movies in general, and of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in particular.
Nevertheless we were disappointed with the management at Friday's showing of The Ides of March.
There was no prior information concerning actress Evan Rachel Wood's red carpet walk and her speech after the movie. In fact, some guests started to leave the venue as she jumped on the stage.
Given treatment like this, it is no wonder that some celebrities choose not to return to the film festival every year.
Gabriela Lombardi, Abu Dhabi