x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Safety in the dark

Well lit streets might make residents feel safer, but they are also an invitation to speed, one letter writer suggests. Other letter topics today: modesty in Dubai, Pakistan-India relations, fairness is water rates and charity begins at home.

Fewer lights on busy streets will force drivers to slow down, or so suggests one reader. Mike Young / The National
Fewer lights on busy streets will force drivers to slow down, or so suggests one reader. Mike Young / The National

I would like to offer a comment about something I observed in Dubai at the weekend.

I was there on Saturday morning, having breakfast at the Caffe Di Roma on JBR Walk with some relatives who had just arrived from Italy, my home country.

We watched people running, walking, sitting in the cafes. But we also watched untold numbers of people dressed in less than modest outfits.

My guests were totally shocked as they haven't seen such scantily clad people in major cities in Europe, let alone in the Middle East. One of them commented: "Nobody in Rome, Paris or London goes out this way."

We would be glad if these people were dressed respectfully, reasonably and normally.

Gabriela Lombardi, Abu Dhabi

Don't read too much into visit

Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, is on a private visit to India to pay respects at a religious shrine, and the Indian media is getting unnecessarily frenzied.

There is no reason to overreact. Even former president Pervez Musharraf visited India privately to see his family home in Delhi.

It is important not to attach inordinate importance to these personal visits. That is because there can be no peace between India and Pakistan until Pakistan controls the religious fanatics and terrorists that operate on Pakistani soil.

Every time Pakistan talks about peace, its militants commence covert bombings in India. This is utterly unacceptable.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Workers in UAE need protection

The "cases of abuse, non-payment of wages, confiscation of passports, forced confinement and little or no time off" are not just an issue in Lebanon (Death of a housemaid in Lebanon sparks calls for action, April 7).

In fact they are issues for many workers right here in the UAE.

Many people who are not professionals have their passports confiscated by their employers when they arrive. I know Filipinas, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indonesians and Sri Lankans who have been forced to give up their passports.

People are also lied to about the jobs they are coming for, and are often paid less than what has been stated in the contract they sign before leaving home.

When these workers complain, too often their salaries are withheld, they are threatened and then after being promised that they will receive the outstanding pay, they are told they signed a document claiming cash was received.

Yes, there are laws meant to correct these practices, but they are not always upheld.

Despite all the efforts, there is still little recourse for the very people who need the safeguards the most.

Else-Carine Risberg, Abu Dhabi


Charge everyone for water they use

If the UAE is really serious about reducing its high water consumption rate, the government must get tough and start charging nationals for their water (The real cost of water and electricity will shock you, April 7). Until this happens, there will be absolutely no motivation to cut water usage.

The government must treat everyone equally when it comes to such a critical environmental issue, no matter how much it hurts.

Name withheld by request

Charity begins at home, goes global

Charity begins at home, and peace begins within one's self. We have to fight malice, greed, backbiting and jealously to bring peace within ourself.

We can have peaceful coexistence and, in the process, also save millions of dollars by organising such events (Peace march to herald Dubai International convention, April 4).

Farah Maraikayer, Dubai

Low-lit roads can encourage safety

Your article Dubai residents complain about lack of lighting (April 7) misses the point. The problem lies with the mindset of people expecting roads that are over-lit.

In residential areas, like Dubailand, people should take extra care when driving. Limiting levels of street lighting is a sound way to enforce good driving habits. From Europe to Asia, roads are often dimly lit; in some places no road lighting is provided at all. This forces drivers to be more cautious.

Similar environmentally friendly measures that satisfy road safety concerns should be adopted here in the UAE.

Name withheld by request