x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mawaqif works its magic

As parking control claims another district, streets clear and cars vanish, a reader says happily. Other topics: Indian spending, The Artist, local films, Orthodox architecture, taxi fares, and powerful women.

Mawaqif parking control brings order where there was chaos, a reader says. Andrew Henderson / The National
Mawaqif parking control brings order where there was chaos, a reader says. Andrew Henderson / The National

At 8am on the last day of February, in our area of Abu Dhabi bounded by Electra, Al Falah, Najda and Salam streets, almost half the vehicles vanished. And the remaining cars fell into the proper parking slots. Residents were awestruck.

We decided to immerse ourselves in this experience by walking along the wide-open internal roads, never before seen without at least two rows of vehicles parked in the middle of the roads.

Thanks to the Department of Transportation, what we experienced was Mawaqif magic! This is the only way a society can function in an orderly and civilised manner.

The only suggestion that I have for Mawaqif is to clearly identify residents' parking slots with a separate colour.

NT Unnikrishnan, Abu Dhabi

India has wrong spending priorities

A queue to use the loo - India's hygiene battle (March 1) prompts me to wonder how much would it cost to set up loos for all Indians? Probably $50 (Dh185) per family?

And how much has India just spent in buying warplanes from France? $20 billion?

$20 billion to kill, but nothing to protect health?

Where are the priorities?

Name withheld by request

Oscar-winning film hard to find

Even though the Oscars have passed I enjoyed seeing The Artist at the cinema - better late than never.

However I am surprised by the lack of take-up by the cinema chains in the capital.

The film is being shown at one cinema in Abu Dhabi, only once a day. Blink and you will miss it.

I'm no movie snob but when the Best Picture winner is up against this week's other new release, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, and that one is showing up to eight times a day everywhere, something is wrong.

There are enough cinema screens in the UAE to cater for all tastes; from a country that made City of Life and has two separate film festivals, I expect more.

Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi

Words cannot express my contempt and loathing for people who enter a film noisily after the main feature has started, especially when the movie - I refer to The Artist - is "silent".

Have the courtesy to arrive on time.

Hafez Ullah, Dubai

Mayor of Paris shows ignorance

After reading Paris mayor slams 'hodgepodge' Russian Orthodox church to be built near Eiffel Tower (March 2) I want to say that Mayor Bertrand Delanoe needs to set aside his biases.

He should also study architecture and learn about the Eastern Orthodox Church before making such ignorant and bigoted remarks.

The design of the Orthodox church is centuries older than the Eiffel Tower. There is nothing "mediocre" about it.

Sabrina Messinger, US

Inflated taxi fares seem to be legal

The news report Taxi fares unfair say exhibition visitors (March 2) reminds me of when I attended an exhibition at ADNEC in 2009.

There were no taxis waiting so we had to flag some on the main road.

The actual price for our one-way ride into Abu Dhabi was Dh16 but some taxis, operating without meters, were charging Dh60 to 90 - and a lot of international visitors paid because they didn't want to wait around for a metered cab.

When I shook my head in protest, the driver shook his fist at me in a threatening manner. I reported this to the police but I didn't think anything was done. Apparently, charging four or five times the normal fare isn't a crime.

Abdul Ismail, Abu Dhabi

Time for more Arab-world films

As an avid fan of films, especially foreign films in their original languages, I read Images of a Nation (March 2) with much interest.

It is time to look within the Arab world, not to the West, for films.

So far, movies such as City of Life and Sea Shadow show that it's possible to make great movies here. As your columnist Ali Khaled asked "why is enlightenment still 700 years behind?"   Make the Arab film industry the beginning of this enlightenment.

Adrienne Doolan, Dubai

Women can do better than men

Rick Arthur's entertaining Instant Expert list of quotes about women and power (March 3) left out my favourite, from the late Charlotte Whitton, who was the mayor of Ottawa, Canada:

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."

Audrey Rivington, Dubai