Readers comment on Dubai rent scam, EU's Nobel Peace Prize, UAE residency visa, UAE human rights and US school shooting.
Dubai renters are left in lurch when contracts go bad
I refer to Anger of Dubai rent scam victims who face eviction (December 16).
All parties involved were duped by people who committed numerous frauds. These criminals stole a significant amount of money from people who are not going to be able to recover quickly.
It is a tough situation and I sincerely hope police are able to recover at least part of the stolen money in time.
That said, I think the real warning for other tenants and would-be tenants is that the Dh190 registration fee with Ejari - an online system for Dubai leases - does nothing to validate documentation. It's just a registration fee.
Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea for them to add Dh200 to Dh300 to the fee and wrap insurance around the registration so that there was some means of holding the Ejari system accountable for registering leases that were not valid.
And perhaps Real Estate Regulatory Agency agents who submit these registrations online on behalf of tenants should hold professional indemnity insurance so that they could be held accountable in the event of errors and omissions.
Robert MacMillan, Dubai
EU Peace Price defies reality
In reference to Shadi Ghanim's cartoon on December 11, which showed the EU accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, I don't understand why the EU gets the prize when the union is crumbling and in jeopardy of disintegrating.
Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai
Ageing out of the labour market?
I have some questions about the information in your article Over 60s brigade are still eligible for a UAE residency visa (December 15).
First, the Ministry of Labour recently (in January 2011) changed the law to increase the maximum age of residency to 65 instead of 60. After 65, a resident can renew his residency permit annually. If a person is 61, they can still get a two-year residency visa as per the new law.
Second, I thought that the 30-day notice period is only in place if the employee accepts the termination notice. If they object, they have the right to fight this in the Labour Court.
The employee also has the right to remain in company accommodation while the procedure is in court, and the court is allowed to award the employee up to three months full salary in addition to the one month notice and any other dues such as outstanding vacation days and unpaid overtime.
Name withheld by request
I am 63 and was offered a job in Dubai six months ago, based in Dubai Media City. My first visa application was turned down, due to my age.
But thankfully, that is not the end of the story. The DMC administration staff made an appeal and I was immediately given a three-year employment visa, which expires one month before I turn 66.
John Lethbridge, Dubai
Arabs in Europe are proud of UAE
Arabs who live in Europe are probably better defenders of the UAE than some in the UAE itself (Emiratis call for action against unjust EU criticism, December 11).
People here are correcting the wrong ideas of politicians who criticise the UAE and its human rights compared to any other Arab nations. But actions speak for themselves.
Mohamed Berrihi, Belgium
US can act to stop senseless killing
Mass killer forced his way in to school was painful to read (December 16). These crimes are too common in the US. The government should take stern action to avoid this type of incident in the future.
Until then, I pray for the families in Connecticut who have lost everything in this senseless, brutal act of murder.
K Ragavan, India
Corporations need to be responsible
HSBC has settled recent allegations that it has laundered billions of dollars of drug money and other illegal revenues, some of which were reportedly related to terrorism (HSBC in record $1.9bn penalty payment to the US, December 12).
What is not clear is how much HSBC may have made from the deals - is there not something amiss here?
Remember also, Standard Chartered bank paid $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) in fines for violating US sanctions and laundering rules in a similar case.
In another case, 11 people died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig - not to mention the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. BP was fined billions for irregular practices and negligence.
The practice of fining corporations for misdemeanors is obviously not enough.
P Hardcastle, Abu Dhabi