x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Agent of influence in the UAE

Fast cars and gadgets are the main attraction of James Bond to male audiences in the UAE, a reader suggests. Other letter topics: rent, cheques and women in motorsport.

A reader says the appeal of Daniel Craig's James Bond is obvious in the UAE. Francois Duhamel / AP / Sony Pictures
A reader says the appeal of Daniel Craig's James Bond is obvious in the UAE. Francois Duhamel / AP / Sony Pictures

Abu Dhabi tenant happy to lock in a rent reduction

Fall in capital rents forecast to go on (November 13) is good news for tenants in Abu Dhabi.

I recently renegotiated the rental amount on my apartment, and I was surprised that there was no mention at all of the increase I had been expecting.

In the end, I received a small discount on last year's rent - it was not quite the 6 per cent mentioned in the article, but it was still most welcome.

And, of course, one advantage of the much-derided upfront payment required for rentals in the UAE is that the discounted price is now locked in for a full year.

Adam Armstrong, Abu Dhabi

Case of too many checks on cheques

I am writing in reference to First step on road to new bounced cheque law (November 12).

Ending the policy of criminalising bounced cheques is something even the Chief of Dubai Police has called for, and it is a welcome development.

I would also encourage banks to better train their staff. I've had cheques rejected because I wrote an invoice number in the notes field, because my signature did not match exactly the signature on the bank's file, and because the two 1s were too close together in the date of a 2011 cheque - despite there being ample funds in my account to cover each of them.

All of the cheques were rejected by the same branch manager who, I believe, really misunderstood her role.

Banks should exercise caution, but they should also offer reasonable service and verify verbally with customers if in doubt, rather than needlessly expose customers to potential criminal charges.

E Fabri, Dubai

Bond's attraction easy to fathom

I was not at all surprised to read Bond soars to box office record with Skyfall (November 13).

With more than Dh1.8 billion in the bank so far, and having just debuted in the United States, Skyfall seems destined to be the most successful film in the long-running secret-agent franchise.

I was also not surprised to read, elsewhere, that the movie appeals mainly to a male demographic.

One does not have to look too far to realise that fast, expensive cars and clever gadgets are loved by men in the UAE, too.

Terri Holt, Dubai

Internet controls are very welcome

I'm sure many people will welcome the regulations described in New internet law to combat cyber crime and protect privacy (November 13).

Clarifying exactly what is illegal is a very important step, as it leaves internet users in no doubt about their online activities. For this reason, I would like to see more detail of the legislation.

The protection of private information, such as bank account and credit card details, is especially welcome.

And, of course, nobody should argue against laws prohibiting the online publication of pornography or religious insults.

However, I do see some potential problems. For example, the story states that Facebook could be held responsible if somebody posts illegal material.

This would be extremely hard to police, and could potentially affect the availability of the social-networking site in the UAE.

In my experience, Facebook already does a good job of self-regulation, making sure that unacceptable material is taken down very quickly once a complaint is made.

Trevor Long, Abu Dhabi

More power to racing pioneer

Reading Nielsen thrilled to be a pioneer (November 13) made my day.

I wish Christina Nielsen well in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East event - and I certainly agree that we need more women competitors in motorsport.

Angela Brinsley, Dubai

An excessive amount of help?

I felt compelled to write regarding Employers ignoring wage law for Filipinos (November 13).

I am amazed that Mona, the woman quoted in the story, and her husband say they need five domestic helpers even though they can't afford them.

Why do they not do some of the household chores themselves?

Lee-Avinne O'Farrell, Abu Dhabi

Lower sentences don't seem right

I find Jail terms cut for woman and policeman who beat maid to death (November 13) really hard to understand.

The defendants tortured the maid, which resulted in her death, yet their sentences were reduced from 16 and 13 years to seven.

Am I the only one who has a problem with this?

N Farley, Dubai