x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Ramadan will not deter bad drivers

Readers say bad drivers will use Ramadan as an excuse. Other topics: Saadiyat Island, Palestinians, gold denture, photos, branch campuses

A reader says roads in the UAE will not be safer during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Lee Hoagland / The National
A reader says roads in the UAE will not be safer during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Lee Hoagland / The National

What’s the different between driving during Ramadan and any other day here (Ramadan drivers told to curb their speed, June 26)? Abu Dhabi roads are always dangerous and filled with maniacal drivers. Ramadan just gives them another excuse.

Driving through red lights, flashing their lights (even inside the Sheikh Zayed Road tunnel), not stopping for pedestrians and speeding are common. What is new?

Chris Murphy, Dubai

We break our fast at about 7.30pm and work is six hours – from 9am to 3pm. So what is the reason for traffic chaos? And why must you rush and endanger other road users.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai

Saadiyat projects take environment into consideration

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) would like to thank the writer of the letter Protect Emirate’s Biodiversity (June 23) for sharing concerns and interest in Saadiyat’s environment.

TDIC has always had a focused, sustainability-based approach towards all of its developments. On Saadiyat, we have taken steps to ensure the protection of the island’s coastal dunes and the safety of the Hawksbill turtles that come to the shore every year.

The Saadiyat “dune protection zone nesting beach” ensures that the turtles continue to nest even during the construction and operations of projects on the island.

Since the start of the programme in early 2010, over 700 eggs have hatched successfully on Saadiyat. Operational guidelines further protect the nesting sites by restricting beach access to pedestrians, who reach the beach via elevated boardwalks.

Due to our continued efforts, not only have Hawksbill turtles returned once again, but we have discovered three turtle nests along Saadiyat beach during this year’s nesting season. The sites around each nest, which contains approximately 100 eggs, are being strictly monitored for signs of hatching.

George Chakar, Senior development and operations communications manager at TDIC, Abu Dhabi

Palestinians losing their lives in vain

This refers to the article Palestinian girl caught in crossfire (June 25). It is devastating to witness how innocent children are being made to bear the brunt of the ongoing war in Palestine. It is heart-wrenching that these deaths have gone in vain as the world chooses to remain mute over the misery and plight of these poor civilians. The photographs on The National’s Facebook page are a reminder to the world of the immense grief and pain that these families living in the war zone are made to endure. These killings have to stop.

Fatima Suhail, Abu Dhabi

Gold dentures hardly alluring

This refers to the article Dubai dentist offers half a million dirham smile (June 24). Do you remember the James Bond movie character Jaws? That would be an apt name for someone who is disillusioned enough to think these dentures are alluring.

Name withheld by request

Be careful when posting pictures

I refer to the article Man charged in UAE over posting video of sleeping family on Instagram (June 25).

When I take pictures of others, I never assume they are OK with posting their pictures on social media. I ask them or let them know my intent before I post them. And always post a happy and smiling picture.

Dolores Basilio, US

Branch campuses are well regulated

I’m writing to you to express my disapproval with your editorial Global branch campuses need more regulation (June 24).

The editorial says the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) does not have jurisdiction over private higher education campuses in the free zones: in fact, the opposite is true. KHDA not only regulates these campuses, but ensures that the quality of programmes they offer are comparable to their home campuses. Furthermore, KHDA attests these degrees and they are recognised by the Government of Dubai.

The editorial does not mention KHDA’s University Quality Assurance International Board, which was created to monitor and improve the quality of programmes offered by international branch campuses in Dubai. Furthermore, the editorial incorrectly states that academic programmes from the UK in Dubai do not meet quality standards. This was never stated in the report by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Academic programmes from the UK in Dubai do in fact meet stringent quality standards.

Dubai has made huge strides in the quality and range of higher education programmes on offer – yet this was not once mentioned in the editorial.

Quality assurance does take place in Dubai, and we assure the public that every student enrolled in an international branch campus in Dubai is receiving a quality of education comparable to that of the home campus.

Hind Al Mualla, chief of engagement, Knowledge and Human Development Authority