A reader says Dubai's extra-ordinary commitment to excellence has put it ahead of the race to host Expo 2020. Other letter topics include: expats, mortgage and lending, public attitude.
Dubai's advantage: commitment to excellence
I am commenting on recent media reports about Dubai emerging as the front-runner for Expo 2020.
It does not require special knowledge for anybody to understand that Dubai was - and is still - a firm favourite in its bid to host the expo.
As far as Dubai residents are concerned, it's a foregone conclusion that Dubai will seal the bid on November 27, when the voting takes place.
This is not because Dubai has a "can do" attitude, but because it has a "can excel" attitude in whatever endeavour it commits itself to.
With all due respect to the other bidding cities, I would like to point out that hosting a world expo does require some existing world-class infrastructure and facilities, from roads, airports and hotels to shopping and recreational facilities.
It's on this score that Dubai is miles ahead in the competition.
The government is friendly but firm and there are no bureaucratic hurdles to speak of.
Dubai is also virtually crime-free and is counted among the safest cities in the world. It is also a multicultural, multi-ethnic haven with expatriates from more than 200 countries peacefully coexisting.
To conclude on a humorous note, Dubai deserves to win, as alphabetically it also features above Izmir, Sao Paulo and Yekaterinburg.
Amitabh Saxena, Dubai
UAE cannot live in a bubble
My job as a teacher brings me into contact with Emirati students (Expatriates in a bubble can export a wrong image of the UAE, August 6).
Therefore, I don't feel I can live in a bubble. As I see it, the modern existence of the UAE is just over 40 years old and still evolving.
I read widely and enjoy discovering the history, particularly of Dubai and Sharjah where I live and work. I have been in this country for the past four years and I am amazed that about 200 nationalities live here. In fact, the UAE is the most amazing among all the countries I have lived in, including New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Thailand.
Foreigners in any country need to remember the stages they have to go through: the first is the honeymoon stage, when you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The second is the sob stage, where you become frustrated with difficulties you might encounter, such as communicating with people. Finally, there is the go-with-the-flow stage, where you relax and enjoy the moment.
I haven't necessarily transitioned these stages during my four years of stay in the UAE. Rather, I experience these stages everyday. So I have much more to learn when I am here.
Mike Wyatt, Dubai
Mortgage scene is not all that rosy
I was disappointed to read some of the articles on mortgages and lending, which I think aren't entirely correct, particularly the car-loan section.
For Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank murabaha financing, if you prepay you must prepay all of the loan and profit for the whole period, and then the bank has the discretion to grant you a rebate (for the profit you have prepaid for the remaining period).
In my case, the bank took 25 per cent of that profit and returned 75 per cent. That amounted to approximately Dh4,000 on a Dh100,000 prepayment. Therefore they got away with a much higher prepayment fee.
Name withheld by request
People show little concern for others
I refer to Hareth Al Bustani's blogpost The queuing situation in the UAE (August 30).
The comment about everyone thinking they are entitled to cut in front of everyone else probably extends to driving.
When there is heavy traffic right ahead of you, there is not a single logical reason to flash your headlights, try to force someone out of the fast lane (who may already be travelling above the speed limit), by passing them while straddling the left shoulder.
Either these people are simply insensitive, or they are unable to notice the environment around them or ahead of them. Likewise, there is no logical reason for someone who can't travel more than 80kph in their vehicle to not stay in the right lane.
Name withheld by request
I feel frustrated about the queuing system at post offices here. We are given numbers, and you just wait until your number is called to be served. However, people still insist on pushing their way ahead and bothering those behind the desk to the point that it's easier for them to serve those people first than to tell them to wait for their turn. No one wants to wait.
If people stand in queues in an orderly fashion, the lines would move much more quickly and one wouldn't feel the need to push to the front.
Michelle Kennedy, Abu Dhabi