x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

New Louvre will join the world's great institutions

A reader praises plans for the Abu Dhabi version of the Louvre, saying it will attract as much interest as the original in Paris. Other topics: small shops, tourism jobs and street cricket.

A reader says the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi will be as big a draw as the original in Paris. Philipp Guelland / AFP
A reader says the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi will be as big a draw as the original in Paris. Philipp Guelland / AFP

I know I am not the only person in Abu Dhabi who was pleased to read Final green light for the Louvre (January 9).

The plans for the building, and for the collections it will house, are breathtaking, and it's great to finally know that it should all come together within three years.

I have no doubt that the Saadiyat Island version of this cultural institution will be as inviting as the glass-pyramid-augmented original gallery in Paris.

With a Guggenheim branch also in the works, the UAE seems set to take its place among the world's great cultural capitals.

Ken Douglas, Abu Dhabi


Chain stores won't match groceries

Regarding Grocers' lives in the balance (January 6), I can understand the thinking of the small shop owners who waited for the deadline to be extended, because deadlines have been extended in many other instances.

If large chains take over these stores, it seems unlikely that they will provide the same service as the smaller shops, such as home delivery.

And, because of all the new safety and hygiene features, it is very likely that we will pay much more if we do use these new shops.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

It's so sad that progress has come at a cost to human livelihoods.

I would rather support a small businessman who is supporting a family than a corporation or a rich proprietor who is simply adding to amassed wealth. D Schuck, Dubai


Australia haunted by colonial past

I am writing in reference to Families torn apart by mining dispute (January 8), in which Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group is accused of dividing indigenous Australians in order to gain access to their land.

The fundamental problem in that region of Australia, and in West Australia generally, is that it is remote, and the government and its public service has always led through a colonial divide-and-conquer model. This sets the standard and almost forces all other players to do the same.

Until we see a new approach by the public service towards Aboriginal people, these types of issues will continue to arise.

Very well-intentioned people are getting caught up in very poor engagement with Aboriginal people under a colonial model created by the public service more than 200 years ago.

What causes Aboriginal disadvantage in Australia is that successive governments have pursued a policy of "normalisation" - that is, showing no respect for the people and their cultural heritage and trying to forceably fully integrate them with a foreign culture.

There needs to be a fresh approach that includes respect for each individual Aboriginal person.

Andrew Forrest's great grandfather was active in supporting Aboriginal people in the region in the late 1800s, and I have no doubt about Andrew's motives. He is just caught up in a flawed system.

W Gibbons, Australia

Tourism jobs are sign of the future

Emiratis reach for the skies (January 7) is great news for the UAE.

There is no doubt that tourism will be an important money-earner in the near future, so it is appropriate that there will be 2,000 new jobs for Emiratis in this growing industry.

Liam Grice, Dubai

Street cricketers upset neighbours

I live in a building near the museum in Majarrah, behind Atlas Mall in Sharjah.

This area has very few buildings and is usually calm.

Lately, however, this calmness has been shattered by the presence of a group of youths who have taken to playing cricket at all hours, starting their game at 1am or earlier and continuing until 3am or later.

They have converted the road leading towards the museum into a playground.

During their games, they keep shouting and making all sorts of noises with their cricket gear, disturbing the sleep of nearby residents, including many children.

This has been happening for the past three to four months.

I hope the authorities will take suitable action to put a permanent end to this nuisance.

Name withheld by request

Fire underscores smoking hazard

I was interested to read Hotel guest fined after discarded cigarette causes Dh60,00 worth of damage (January 9).

While a Dh2,000 fine seems like a small price to pay for an action that could have cost lives, the message here is that smoking can be bad for your health in more ways than you might expect.

Colin Richards, Abu Dhabi