x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Camel Festival is a showcase

Readers express interest in the current Camel Festival in the Western Region. Other letter-to-the-editor topics today include Dubai airport, the Arab Spring, bank reforms, and the Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich.

As Emirati culture comes alive in Liwa this week, readers praise the effort being made in the country's western region. Jeff Topping / The National
As Emirati culture comes alive in Liwa this week, readers praise the effort being made in the country's western region. Jeff Topping / The National

Too early to judge the real meaning of the Arab Spring

Thank you for the group of stories Arab Spring, second anniversary (December 17).

Many people in Arab Spring countries are surely delighted to be rid of their unresponsive, greedy, arrogant old regimes. But I have to wonder how many of those citizens are pleased with the replacement governments.

The story is not finished, of course, and we won't be able to judge the result of these revolutions for years, even decades. But so far, in my opinion, the peoples of these countries have shown little ability to compromise, and surely compromise is the core of peaceful democratic government.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

Economic roots of Arab Spring remain (December 17) tells the real story: until there are free-market reforms to start economic growth, the privations and inequality that led to Arab Spring revolts will continue.

Peter Burrell, Doha

Research brings positive results

Device turns mobile phone into foetal monitor (December 17) was very interesting and encouraging.

It is really great that Khalifa University is playing an optimal role in new innovations. Congratulations to all those who made this happen.

Naeem Ul Fateh, Dubai

No more delays for bank changes

Landmark banking reforms delayed (December 17) signals a pragmatic approach to regulation.

But the banks should not be allowed to lobby these reforms into oblivion on some dusty shelf. I hope that this delay will be the last one that these necessary and prudent changes face.

Michel Khoury, Abu Dhabi

Surprising plan to close school

I found the news in Westminster School in Dubai to shut (December 17) to be very surprising.

If there are 5,000 students, each paying a Dh10,000 fee, then the school has Dh50 million in revenue.

I think I, for one, could operate a school successfully on that scale.

Amer Ali, Dubai

Story and festival show local culture

I greatly enjoyed the lively story Dh3.7m offer for the camel who has it all (December 17).

This is the sort of story that brings Emirati and Gulf culture to life for those of us who have come here from other places.

With some friends, I am now making plans to go out to the Camel Festival to see some of this for myself.

Theo Horstmann, Abu Dhabi


We went to the Camel Festival in Al Dhafra on Sunday, and found some big improvements from last year.

Event venues and direction signs are posted more frequently in English now, and not in Arabic alone. The site's website is better, too.

And whenever we needed help we found people to be quite welcoming. In a couple of cases men who spoke only Arabic smiled and rushed to find somebody who did speak English.

And the camels, in judging pens but also all around the site, were just fascinating.

There's a lot of potential here for this festival to become a really big tourism event. Already we would highly recommend it.

Karen and Jed Milloy, Abu Dhabi

Story was unfair to classic sandwich

From cheese steaks to chic shops (December 17) did a disservice to my hometown, Philadelphia.

Your reporter's local friend was right to take her to the Reading Terminal Market, but for a proper cheese steak sandwich she really should have gone to Pat's King of Steaks, on Wharton Street - and never mind that rival joint across the street.

It's been 22 months and three days since I had lunch there. Time for a trip home, I think.

Frank McGraw, Abu Dhabi

Airbus terminal is a good sign

The article Dubai airport's new A380 concourse is put to the test, (December 16) was interesting to me because I am hoping to fly on the A380 next year.

So I was very happy to read that the terminal for the big new jets will be opening on time, near the beginning of 2013.

Not everyone is so efficient. Last summer I was supposed to use the planned new airport in Berlin, but the opening was pushed back because of problems in construction and fitting-out. As a result people had to use the two old airports, one overburdened and the other quite far from the centre of the city.

It is good to know that the UAE can do better.

Paul Panzer, Dubai