x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Cross over traffic fine

Readers express concern over new pedestrian arrangements near the Abu Dhabi Mall. Other letters concern the call for an oryx reserve, ivory poaching and Will Smith.

Readers are concerned about new crossing arrangements outside Abu Dhabi Mall. Silvia Razgova / The National
Readers are concerned about new crossing arrangements outside Abu Dhabi Mall. Silvia Razgova / The National

It gives me no pleasure in writing to you about my experience outside Abu Dhabi Mall recently.

I have lived in the emirate, very happily, for some time now. I turn a deaf ear to the perpetual "moaners" and I've encouraged a lot of my British and American friends to come and visit. Many of these people have come back repeatedly, spending money and spreading the word about what a good, friendly and welcoming place Abu Dhabi is.

Earlier this month, I had my first brush with unreasonable behaviour from the authorities. I was one of a large number of people given a traffic ticket for walking across a pedestrian crossing. The police were unforgiving in, and I quote, "teaching a lesson" to locals, expats and tourists alike.

We had failed to recognise that a small blue sign on the opposite side of the road indicated that the crossing was only to be used by handicapped people. All able-bodied people were required to walk across the bridge.

The illuminated green man indicating that it was safe and appropriate to use the crossing had not been disabled or covered.

I applaud the efforts of the authorities in making Abu Dhabi roads safer. But is fining pedestrians who observe international traffic signs and highway protocols the right approach?

I urge the authorities to think again and to cancel these tickets.

Stuart Smith, Abu Dhabi

Can anyone from the municipality explain why we are no longer allowed to use the street crosswalk to get to Abu Dhabi Mall?

We must now use the overhead structure. This is a major inconvenience, especially in the heat.

Cora Yanacek, Abu Dhabi

Praise for tackling sensitive issues

I appreciate Ayesha Al Mazroui's courage in bringing sensitive topics into the open for discussion and contemplation within Emirati society in her Comment column, Emirati marriage norms reflect cultural and ethnic diversity (May 24).

I may disagree with some of her views but I greatly appreciate the intellect evident in her articles.

F Baaslelm, Dubai

Oryx reserve is a sensible proposal

I approve of the idea of a border-spanning wildlife reserve for oryx (Expert seeks free zone for oryx in three nations, May 24).

In these days of development everywhere, surely at least part of the Empty Quarter can be reserved for wildlife. The idea of these beautiful creatures running free ought to appeal to everyone. It would be most excellent if this happens.

Hussain Gul, Abu Dhabi

Election a proud moment in history

Whatever has happened or will happen in Egypt, at least the presidential election (like the parliamentary voting) seems to have been honestly run (Egypt's historic vote 'free, fair and clean', May 24).

The Egyptian people have reason to be proud of what they have already accomplished.

I was particularly struck by the comment one man made in your report: "It's the first time in 7,000 years that we have had the choice to appoint a leader." There is a lot of history in that country.

Sami Antali, Dubai

Ivory poachers must be punished

The photo of all that ivory confiscated in Sri Lanka is heartbreaking (Elephant tusks seized on the way to Dubai, May 24).

So many of these majestic animals, killed to please collectors of ivory trinkets.

I don't understand why this cargo was going from Kenya to Dubai via Sri Lanka, but congratulations to the authorities who stopped the trade.

Now the culprits in Kenya need to be caught and punished.

Susan Curran, South Africa

Where there's a Will there's a smile

I am not a big fan of Men in Black star Will Smith, but I am impressed with his attitude to life (Perpetual charisma, May 24).

When asked why he always seemed to be happy, he replied: "What the hell do I have to be miserable about? I have so much fun in life, I'm a lucky guy."

We may not all be as fortunate as Smith, but his attitude inspires us to be grateful for what we have.

P Devereaux, Abu Dhabi

Web users are in on Jordan joke

Reading Is Katie Price suing Jordan? Think about it for a minute (May 23), my impression was that the commenters and other newspapers certainly did get the joke but were "playing along".

The Pan Arabia Enquirer does not hold the monopoly on satire and I believe the commenters were just entering into the spirit of the website.

Peter Jenkins, Dubai