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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Stop bombarding me with messages telling me to 'buy, buy, buy'

Readers discuss living frugally, life in Abu Dhabi, Hyperloop and more

A reader writes that our lives are over-saturated with advertising messages. Beawiharta / Reuters
A reader writes that our lives are over-saturated with advertising messages. Beawiharta / Reuters

I write regarding How to be frugal and still enjoy UAE living (October 24). Just as the article touches upon, we all need to try to live within our means. However, I would also say that the never-ending stream of advertising – on billboards, online and in magazines – is all aimed at encouraging us to live the dream and to “buy, buy, buy”. These messages could be toned down so that people would not be so tempted. Everywhere in the world, wherever we look, we are made to feel inadequate if we are not constantly buying bigger and better goods.

Tanya Milbourne, Dubai

That's not the street I live in

Nick Leech’s piece on revisiting the area around Choueifat school and Umm Al Emarat Park annoyed me (Capital’s 8th Street is a perfect example of informal urbanism, October 20). My primary source of irritation was for its liberal use of words such as "derelict", "ramshackle" and "slum".

It’s easy for a writer to unwittingly imbue their pieces with the worst kind of prejudice when detached from the subject. As he mentioned in his column, Nick no longer lives in the area he writes about. This detachment means he chooses to condemn the people of the area as slum dwellers, paupers and residents, happy to live ramshackle lives in ramshackle houses. The writer tells us "many of the houses appear derelict even though they are not".

His description of the area as reminiscent of "Parisian événements of May 1968", his claims that “the residents of 8th Street have ripped up the paving stones to create vegetable plots" and "every wall, roof and balcony is festooned with trailing and climbing plants" stretch accuracy to the limit. The area Nick describes is not a bucolic tourist brochure representation of a magical Abu Dhabi, nor is it the city’s desperate version of Dharavi in Mumbai.

V Whitman, Abu Dhabi

Hyperloop: if you build it, they will come

In reference to Peter Nowak’s column, Hyperloop could be more trouble and less of a convenience (October 24). The commute time generally remains the same, but the number of people served by the transportation network increases. It's called “induced demand”. If you build more infratructure, then more people will use it. The gains are stagnant for an individual, but it represents progress for a larger quantity of people.

Rohit Iyengar, Dubai

The fight against polio can and will soon be won

Your editorial titled The fight against polio is not over yet, but the end is near (October 24) was thought-provoking. With the continuous effort of the US, polio was eradicated in North America in the 1970s. However, polio persists in Pakistan and Afghanistan, although with the help of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Bill and Melinda Gates it could soon be eradicated in both countries. That day can’t come soon enough.

K Ragavan, India

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