x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

A shaky transition

Yemen has managed to change its previous government, but the hard work of building national unity remains, a reader says. Other letter topics today: test prep, cola wars, price discrepancies and airport quality.

The new president of Yemen, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, has his work cut out for him, a reader says. Yahya Arhab / EPA
The new president of Yemen, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, has his work cut out for him, a reader says. Yahya Arhab / EPA

I refer to the well-expressed news item Indian high schoolers brace for exam time (February 25). Tests and examinations form an integral part of the teaching-learning process.

As vice principal of the Emirates National School in Sharjah, let me suggest that students consider examinations as a pleasant and challenging experience.

A key aspect of mental preparation you need at this time is to think positively, and to appear for the examinations with full confidence without worrying about the results.

Here, the school authorities, parents and teachers can play the role of an effective catalyst in enabling children to give their best in examination through steady and thoughtful encouragement.

Remember, learning to take an examination is as important as studying. Therefore, plan your work purposefully, proceed positively and pursue persistently.

I wish all examination-going-students the very best in their preparations.

Abraham Mathew, Sharjah

Yemen's future tested with attack

Your article Hadi sworn in as Al Qaeda attacks (February 26) was sad to read.

On the same day of the new president's swearing-in ceremony, Al Qaeda killed 25 innocent civilians. This is painful and unacceptable.

After so much struggle Yemen managed to change its previous government, opting for better governance and stability. But as this tragic incident makes clear, Yemen's road remains long. We should pray for the innocent victims.

K Ragavan, India

More than cola needs price police

I have been following the coverage in The National regarding the size and sale of fizzy drinks (Coke and Pepsi given a month to remove all 300ml cans from sale, February 22) and applaud efforts to bring the responsible parties to account on this matter.

I became an unwitting victim of this myself at the weekend.

While out on Friday evening with my family for a meal at one of the leading hotels in Abu Dhabi, we purchased soft drinks that came in bottles of 200ml - even smaller than the size in the current controversy, but at a vastly inflated price.

While I don't mind paying above the going rate this was a little steep, especially as the menu didn't state the size of the drink, and we required more drinks as the meal progressed.

We would stick to bottled water if we could but that is another story altogether.

Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi

Unfair prices are not a thing of the past. Despite the regular attempts of the authorities to standardise prices of many different commodities, including cola, there are stores that still get away with it.

I had one such experience here in Abu Dhabi; I went into a local pharmacy to buy baby wipes and milk formula. I buy these items from Carrefour on a regular basis so I know the prices.

This particular pharmacy was charging Dh22 for the same product that other stores sell for Dh12. I left the store without making a purchase. It is not about Dh10 but about principles. My boycott will not have a huge impact, but it was my way of protesting.

Mustafa Ali, Abu Dhabi

Pricing story raises more questions

Your reports Emiratis complain of chronic overcharging in nation's shops and Big savings, when not in a kandura (February 26) present more questions than answers.

For one, the Emirati shopper is not so naive as to shell out Dh250 for something that sells for Dh70. One can understand a margin of Dh20 or even Dh50. But 300 per cent overcharging? That is simply not possible.

There can never be such a big margin of price hikes. Electronic products are sold at a profit of very small margins. Consider distributors of household electronics. The retailer might have a margin of Dh10 to Dh20 on some products.

Emirati shoppers are smart and good at getting the best bargains.

Perhaps back in the early 1980s your reporters' observation could carry some weight, but not now.

S Qamar Hasan, Abu Dhabi


UAE's airports are a model for region

It was been a pleasure seeing that airport retailing has positively changed in recent years (India's airport retail aims for the sky, February 26). Being the daughter of a pilot from Turkish Airlines and sister of an flight attendant from Air France, I've heard stories from relatives about airports in dire condition, lacking proper infrastructure and passenger facilities.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports are the exception. India's airports can learn from them.

Gaye Caglayan, Abu Dhabi