A reader supports the French actor's decision to accept a Russian passport. Other topics: bicycles, pools and leadership.
Saying adieu to Gerard Depardieu
Suggestions for changes home-loan rules
Regarding Mortgage rules add problems for borrowers (January 3), I have some suggestions that, I believe, will lead to a healthier property market in the UAE.
Firstly, the loan to value ratio should be 85 per cent.
Total repayments of all debt, including the new housing loan, should not exceed 50 per cent of the borrower's gross annual salary. If the property is to be rented out, then the potential rental income could also be considered and added to gross salary.
All loans must be on floating interest rates, with no prepayment or foreclosure penalties. Capitalisation of interest until possession must be allowed.
On taking possession of the property, the borrower must have the flexibility of reworking the equated monthly instalment (EMI) subject to his or her repayment capacity, with the condition that at least 50 per cent of the interest should be covered.
The entire loan should be repaid within the term agreed.
I also believe that all loans should be issued with the consent of the person's employer, with the EMI to be paid from his or her salary and remitted to the bank directly.
In case of the borrower switching jobs, the new employer should take on this responsibility and give a fresh undertaking to the bank.
K Vitayakumar, Dubai
I believe the new rules on mortgages will deter prospective first-time buyers, and they are likely to affect longer-term plans by expatriates to stay in the country.
This is a double whammy for Dubai residents when you consider that rents are predicted to rise 100 per cent over the next three years in the Marina area.
I Dolan, Dubai
Chlorine not only option for pools
I am writing in reference to Tower tenants calling for more inspections (January 5).
The ideal solution for those swimming pools where there are concerns about water quality is to avoid chlorine altogether and use electro-oxidation units.
These units can instantly kill all bacteria without resorting to chemicals.
P Revilla, Dubai
Streets too busy to cope with bikes
While I agree with the sentiments in the letter, Cities should be cycle friendly (January 6), I think bicycle lanes on city streets would be impractical and dangerous.
Cycling is a way of life in some other cities, but motor vehicles rule the roads in the UAE.
Perhaps some parks could incorporate dedicated bicycle paths, giving those who want to cycle a safe and healthy place to do it.
J Johannson, Abu Dhabi
Saying adieu to Depardieu
I am a big fan, which may cloud my judgement, but I have a lot of sympathy for Gerard Depardieu, who has become a tax exile (Russian role for French actor, January 4).
It's very easy to say that the rich should pay their way, but Depardieu has been paying way above the odds for years.
By his one account, he has already contributed about $200 million (Dh7.34 billion) to the French economy through his taxes.
Because of his high income, he has been required to pay a far greater percentage of his income in tax than other French citizens. In short, in the country of liberty, equality and fraternity, he was being treated unequally and unfairly.
The French government should consider how Depardieu's films - ranging from classics such as Cyrano de Bergerac and Jean de Florette to the popular Asterix series - have added to the nation's coffers through box-office receipts and arts tourism.
France's loss is Russia's gain.
Michael Peterson, Dubai
Vulnerability is not always a bad thing
Titles matter - here's why (January 6) was a brilliant article, as it highlights two issues for me.
The first is ineffective promotion mechanisms.
Why do businesses often wait to train people to understand what supervision or leadership is until after they are in the quagmire of it all? It's almost like setting them up for failure.
The other issue is how managers (I won't say leaders) become vulnerable when someone else is recognised.
When will vulnerability be seen as healthy in business?
Debbie Nicol, Dubai
Tweet reveals a wise approach
I refer to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's tweet (Oh, baby ... what a year this is already (January 2).
Sheikh Mohammed wrote: "For 41 years, we've gone by a golden rule: each year should be better than the previous one and each achievement stronger than its predecessor."
This is an excellent philosophy.
Michael O'Neill, US