x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Fire safety needs more attention

A reader says Sharjah needs to do more to tackle fire incidents. Othew topics: Khalifa-Sat, taxi campaign, global warming, child talents

A reader says the Sharjah Government should do more to protect people from the dangers of fire. Antonie Robertson / The National
A reader says the Sharjah Government should do more to protect people from the dangers of fire. Antonie Robertson / The National

I am commenting on the article Mattress factory destroyed in Sharjah industrial area blaze (December 12).

Industrial fires are common in Sharjah and there seems to be almost an acceptance that fire can break out from time to time about which nothing much can be done. On the contrary, there is a lot that can be done.

A few years ago, there was a fire in my building in Al Qasimiya. I was on holiday at that time.

Fortunately it was a minor incident and no one suffered injuries or losses. But there is no guarantee that nothing serious will happen to anyone in the future. Some of the buildings in the emirate are too old, where elevators do not work. Some buildings have single elevators while many buildings suffer from poor maintenance. There is no one to monitor conditions. No one is hauled up for flouting safety rules and regulations.

The Sharjah Government should take necessary steps to make people’s lives safer. The authorities should also direct building owners to install fire safety equipment in each building, be it residential units or commercial establishments.

V Joseph, Sharjah

New Year holds great promises for the UAE

Dubai to launch all-Emirati satellite (December 30) is fantastic news.

In fact, the year 2013 has been great for Dubai and the UAE even though much of this region was suffering from turmoil and conflict. Dubai has recently won the bid to host Expo 2020, a major achievement for the UAE. The country has witnessed many other positive developments over the past year. A prominent one is that Dubai’s economy has bounced back from the effects of the recession in 2008.

I am sure 2014 will bring more heartening news. Great going UAE. May God bless the country and its leaders.

Naeem Khan, Dubai

Taxi campaign is important

I refer to the article Dubai campaign offers visitors warm welcome and taxi advice (December 30).

Distributing information material to the public on illegal taxi service is a good move by the Dubai authorities.

Illegal taxis pose many risks to those who use them, because those drivers are not registered and the condition of their vehicles is not known. Nor does anyone know about the type of insurance they have on these vehicles.

Furthermore, these illegal taxis operating at the airport create a negative impression on the country.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Is there a pause in global warming?

I am writing with reference to the article The choice may be global warming or a new Ice Age (November 30). Data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre and Japan Meteorological Agency shows the number of typhoons making landfall in the Philippines has declined since 1990.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also does not agree that tropical storms have become more intense or frequent. It said: “There is low confidence in any observed long-term [40 years or more] increases in tropical cyclone activity.”

The 5th assessment report added that there had been “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century”. There have been very few Category 5 storms in the Pacific since 1991. A study this year by the American Meteorological Society states: “Overall tropical cyclone activity shows a significant decrease since 1998”.

This year has been the quietest Atlantic hurricane season for decades. No Category 3 or stronger storm has made landfall in the US since Katrina in 2005 – the longest hurricane “drought” on record.

A new study said the rate of sea-level rise has diminished by 44 per cent since 2004, to just 1.8mm per year – 18cm per century. The reason is the 17-years-and-counting global warming “pause”, which was not predicted by computer models.

Peter Nixon, Abu Dhabi

Please mention all the talented kids

I enjoyed reading the story Children’s talent contest at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall draws a huge crowd (December 22). The article mentions “all 31 children, from the United States, Canada, Lebanon, Palestine, the Philippines, Jordan, Syria and India”.

However, it appears to have missed one nationality – there was at least one French kid performing at the show (playing nicely on the acoustic guitar), although he was born in the UAE.

Also, the list of nationalities did not include the UAE either, even though the best performer and winner was indeed also from the UAE. This was a great show, and all the kids were really amazing.

Name withheld by request