x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Readers criticise restaurants' prices for bottled water

The Ministry of Economy should be applauded for clamping down on the high cost of bottled water at area restaurants, one reader comments, while another notes that better consumer protections are still needed. Other letters discuss beauty in Beirut, the Kyoto protocol and Murdoch's future.

Bottled water on display in a supermarket is not expensive, but by the time it reaches your restaurant table the price has often increased sharply - a fact which angers letter writers. Pawan Singh / The National
Bottled water on display in a supermarket is not expensive, but by the time it reaches your restaurant table the price has often increased sharply - a fact which angers letter writers. Pawan Singh / The National

Thank you for the article Restaurants' charges for water 'wrong and illegal' (July 10).

Now, that's what I call a serious piece of journalism, although I wondered why you were shy to publish the names of those restaurants who were marking up water by more than 1,000 per cent.

I also have a comment about the anonymous restaurant owner who defended his policy in a letter (The two sides of the bottled water markup debate, July 11).

He or she argued that a big markup on bottled water offsets the prices of other dishes. But I cannot agree, especially since he or she uses the analogy of a Mercedes car.

Excuse me, but when we buy a car, we pay much more than the manufacturing cost to cover research and development, safety, warranties … and we use the product for a long time, then resell it. You can't say that about water.

So I thank the Ministry of Economy for clamping down. Restaurants should be encouraged to install water filtration systems and give free water to diners.

Garth Mitchell, Dubai

On Friday I paid Dh6 for a 500 ml bottle of Masafi water at a cafe in Jumeirah, and Dh 5 in Oasis Mall.

Hotels and restaurants buy in bulk, so a 500 ml bottle costs them less than supermarket prices.

Shame on them.

S Mehta, Dubai

It is good to hear that the law is on the consumer's side, but does this mean we can refuse to pay high prices for water? The price of carbonated drinks is also extremely high, sometimes Dh20 for a can which will cost Dh1.5 in the shops.

At the end of the day, if restaurants have to charge less than at present for water they will probably start charging more for food.

Stuart Watts, Dubai

Editor's note: The list of bottled water prices at 60 restaurants can be found at www.thenational.ae/restaurantwater


Don't encourage early 'adulthood'

I understand that your Saturday supplement M magazine is all about fashion and beauty treatments and cosmetics. Fine. I like those subjects and I enjoy your magazine.

But Forever Young (July 9), the photo feature about the spa industry in Beirut, was misnamed.

Despite the headline, most of the pictures were not about ageing chatelaines who are still trying to look young.

Rather, they were about young girls being rushed into adulthood and jammed into the mold of adult "beauty".

This precocious version of "adulthood" - and the sexualisation of children that goes with it - are disgusting and should not be encouraged.

Nine-year-olds shouldn't be having spa treatments and reading celebrity magazines; they should be playing and learning.

Parents who encourage their preteen girls in this are doing the kids no favour.

Audrey Best, Dubai

Good riddance to Kyoto accords

A top UN official says he doubts that any new agreement can be reached to replace Kyoto (Little hope of agreement on limiting global emissions, July 11). Good. Just last week the UN published yet another report saying the only hope for fighting climate change is to give governments much more power and force people to reduce their energy use worldwide. Good luck enforcing that. Why can't all the bureaucrats understand that this problem cannot be solved? We need to work on mitigating the worst consequences of climate change - and not be giving governments still more power.

Wayne Waters, Abu Dhabi

No more influence for Murdoch

Regarding Murdoch faces attempt by MPs to block UK satellite TV takeover (July 11), I say immoral corporations such as Mr Murdoch's should be barred from obtaining any additional influence. They have caused suffering and misery to many who do not have any recourse.

Mr Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks should pay compensation to those affected.

Ahmet Kianin, Dubai

Plenty of choices in hotel industry

I was a bit disappointed with the answer given to AL on the Ask Ali column (M magazine, July 9).

The questioner is basically told that she's in the wrong industry and would be better off looking for another career.

But must she choose either her religious and cultural beliefs or a career in the food and beverage hospitality sector?

Many companies run alcohol-free restaurants and hotels in the UAE. And there are many countries that are strictly dry, where the person could look for internship and work.

MH, Abu Dhabi