x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Conference has a role to play

A reader defends the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran. Other letter topics: the plight of Syrians, mortgage traps and a possible solution to speeding.

A reader says the Nam conference is important because of Iran's role in any Syrian solution. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA
A reader says the Nam conference is important because of Iran's role in any Syrian solution. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA

Article brought home the Syrian people's plight

Jasmine Roman's comment article Watching from afar is torment for Syrians (August 24) made a deep impression on me.

It's a tragedy what is happening in Syrians' homeland. If only the rest of the world wakes up and realises that it will only continue unless there is some sort of pressure from the world powers to save the Syrian people from further bloodshed.

Thank you, Jasmine, for the piece and your courage to write this despite the pressures that exist.

O Sbayi, Dubai

Air-con controls in the wrong place

Regarding Triple peril of cooling systems set too low (August 26), the next step would be for someone to study the design of air conditioning systems in the UAE.

Many offices and homes have a single thermostat controlling the entire system, and worse yet that thermostat is improperly located - such as being inside a kitchen, next to an exterior door or in an area not connected to the rest of the circulation area. Neil Bezuidenhout, Dubai


More customers trapped by banks

Thanks for Banks under fire over rates for home loans (August 26) because I think thousands of us are helplessly in the same situation.

My mortgage bank for the past four years has gradually increased the interest on my loan to about 9 per cent, while the Eibor and world rates have come down substantially since 2008.

When I contacted a middle-level manager at the bank and complained that the rate increases were contrary to our contract, I was told that the bank has more than one contract with me, and its interpretation is based on the most favourable one to them.

It is particularly unfair, as they offer lower rates to new customers. I guess they know we are stuck and can't really go to another bank, as we risk losing our homes. MS Sharel, Dubai

I, too, am trapped with a mortgage provider at a very high interest rate, and they are asking for 5 per cent if I want to move. This means I will have to pay Dh100,000 if I want to move my mortgage. I can't afford that, so I have to a pay high rate.

This same loan provider gives better rates and better terms to new customers. It's not fair. M Haddad, Dubai


Speeders should lose their licences

Regarding Plan to cut speed limit still on hold (August 25), there are some steps that should be taken.

Stop people who think they are above the law by driving at speeds above 160 kph, and by "owning" the overtaking lane, by fining them hundreds of thousand of dirhams.

They should also instantly lose their licences. For a second offence, they should receive a long jail sentence, with no exceptions.

Roger Plumridge, Dubai

Literacy gains are most welcome

I write regarding the story Illiteracy in Abu Dhabi at an all-time low (August 27), a version of which is published online under the headline UAE cruises from illiterate to well-read in 40 years.

It is good sign of improved literacy in the UAE, however being "well-read" deals with the number of books and articles a person reads over a period of time, usually the number of books per year.

To know this you would need to have statistics on the number of book shops, sales of books, number of published books and money spent on books per person.

The improved literacy rate is welcome, but there is a way to go before everyone is well-read.

M Carr, Abu Dhabi

Development before beauty?

I was not surprise to read Spectacular revamp for major Dubai attraction (August 24).

As usual, they are paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

B Al Anood, Dubai

No peace without Iran's involvement

I am writing in reference to Palestinian tensions over Iran summit attendance (August 27).

The Non-Aligned Movement (Nam) conference should proceed without interference. Without Iran, there can be no peace in Syria.

Frederick Melick, Australia

Putting the bite into Jay Gatsby

In Gatsby fever (August 26), you forgot to mention the mash-up novel The Late Gatsby, which adds a vampire story to the original.

That's the one they should really make into a movie.

Abe Springer, US