x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

An evocative symbol in the desert night

A reader praises our photo spread on petrol pumps in the darkness. Other letters today touch on topics including polite police, Hizbollah and Lebanon, India's fasting fad, liveable cities, and Apple's online store.

A photo from an exhibition at the Pavilion, central Dubai, showing a small diesel station near Dubai. A letter writer says the photo evokes a time when long desert journeys ended at the first sign of civilisation.
A photo from an exhibition at the Pavilion, central Dubai, showing a small diesel station near Dubai. A letter writer says the photo evokes a time when long desert journeys ended at the first sign of civilisation.

I was interested in the story Courtesy at all times, police chief orders (September 20).

My own few dealings with the Dubai police have been good and I have nothing to complain about. But I have heard from friends that sometimes the police can be rude and abrupt. Courtesy feeds upon itself; people who are short-tempered or arrogant with a policeman should perhaps not expect impeccable courtesy in return.

Policemen have a difficult job and while they have a duty to respect people, they also have the right to be respected.

Maddie Stafford, Dubai

I was in the immigration office in Dubai [yesterday] morning to follow up on my visa cancellation.

The officers who processed my papers were very helpful and most of all very polite. I do not have their names but they are commendable.

Name withheld by request

Lebanon is saved if justice prevails

Lebanon persists in the farcical "effort" to arrest the killers of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri (Bomb victims step up long fight for justice, September 20).

But it's all just words. Until somebody has the courage to tell Hizbollah that political parties cannot have their own armies, Lebanon will be a state waiting to fail. When the thugs who made the bomb are arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced and locked up for a long time, then and only then will it be possible to say that Lebanon has a proper government.

Name withheld by request

Indian officials should try fasting

Fasting has become a fashion in India now. After Anna Hazare's fast for 12 days, the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, went on a fast for three days for communal harmony.

He was trying to revamp his image which was tarnished in the 2002 Godhra communal riots.

Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela also went on fast to protest against Mr Modi.I urge all politicians in India to go on a long one-month fast. The country will save some food which could be given to the poor, or if nothing else, all this fasting could reduce the prices of scarce food grains in India.

Rajendra  K  Aneja, Dubai

Evocative images of petrol pumps

The photos of petrol pumps, brightly lit as beacons in the night (Gas light, September 20) was one of your more memorable Oasis centre-pieces.

I found the pictures wonderfully evocative. Where hundreds of years ago travellers' hearts would leap at the sight of a settlement or caravanserai where they could break their journey and find shelter, today we watch the roadside on long journeys for the welcoming presence of a petrol pump.

Theresa Poulin, Abu Dhabi

Istanbul society is exemplary

The article What makes Helsinki and Istanbul 'liveable'? (September 20) fails to mention that Gulf cities rely heavily on expatriate labour without being able to deliver minimum living standards.

Major Gulf cities do show off a "mix" of social and economic classes but social cohesion is lacking.

S Mehta, Dubai

I think Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak got it right: everyone does have different criteria they want in a city. To my mind, many of these factors are so subjective that none of those rankings are worth much - except to suggest vacation destinations.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

Apple's move a welcome change

The article Price war predicted as Apple opens online store (September 20) is a well-researched article.

I came back recently from the UK with a new MacBook Pro. If I had hung on until now, I would have saved about 10 per cent.

Christopher Payne, Dubai

I wonder if we are supposed to feel sorry for Apple's authorised distributor, Arabian Business Machine, now they're being undercut by Apple. For years, their 30percent premiums and six-month-old product line have been the bane of Apple fans. Since coming to the UAE, I basically had to give up my love for everything Apple while having to deal with poor service.

Bruce Dauphin, Abu Dhabi

Money cannot buy everything

I refer to the article Trump's fury at 'ugly' wind farm set to spoil his fairway from heaven (September 18).

Donald Trump thinks he can do what he likes anywhere because he has money. But he's wrong.

Faris Khan, UK