x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Security fee a sad sign of the times

The new Dh5 airport security fee is a depressing reminder of all the time and money we must now all put into security, a reader says. Other letter topics: trash removal, solar power, a Habsburg funeral, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela.

Readers comment on the new Dh5 security surcharge at UAE airports, making the point that the amount doesn't matter as the inconvenience associated with modern-day air travel. Amy Leang / The National
Readers comment on the new Dh5 security surcharge at UAE airports, making the point that the amount doesn't matter as the inconvenience associated with modern-day air travel. Amy Leang / The National

I suppose Dh5 isn't very much, compared to security fees charged at airports in other countries.

But your story (Dh5 security tax on air passengers, July 18) will not help the UAE's image. Freedom from annoying taxes and fees is part of this country's appeal as a place for tourism and investment.

James Cherry, Abu Dhabi

The new airport fee is not going to be a big problem for most people, because if you can afford a flight ticket you can afford Dh5 more.

But I find it depressing to think of how much is being spent on airport security, all around the world - and also how many passenger man-hours are wasted standing in line to take off your shoes - just because a few fanatics have chosen to hold the world's transport system hostage to serve their hatred.

Michael McDonald, Abu Dhabi

Solar panels need local customers

I refer to Challenge ahead for solar power in the Gulf (July 17).

The failure of this solar panel factory to really pursue customers locally in the UAE is truly regrettable.

This region has so much potential to use solar power as a renewable energy source but sadly we are letting opportunities slip by.

Ahmet Kianin, Dubai

Let's keep the city clean together

I refer to your article Recycling gets a second chance (July 17). I would like to thank Ahmed Al Murer of Abu Dhabi Municipality, who recently took action on my complaint about dirty open rubbish bins in the Tourist Club area.

He assured me that very soon I would see a positive change around our city. Such confidence gave me the hope to continue with my existing tenancy contract; otherwise I would have moved to another location in no time.

It seems to me that it is partly everyone's duty to keep the city clean. A quote from a Hindi movie rightly fits here: "No country is perfect; you have to make it perfect".

I call upon the public to join hands and address any issues. The Government is surely here to help.

Tasneem Murtuza, Abu Dhabi

So long, Otto von Habsburg

Thank you for reporting on the funeral of Otto Von Habsburg (Oldest son of Austria's last emperor buried with pomp, July 18).

To many people, the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire is just a historical curiosity, remembered for waltzes, pastry, suppression of ethnic minorities and an ineffectual military.

But I believe that the Habsburg emperors and their officials managed better than many people realise. In any case there is a deep reserve of affection for the family in Austria (though perhaps not in Hungary).

Johann Stadion, Abu Dhabi

China's pressures are relentless

China is certainly relentless in trying to make the Dalai Lama into an "un-person" on the world stage (China calls US visit of Dalai Lama interference, July 18).

The Dalai Lama is a moral hero and a peaceful spokesman for his oppressed people. China's continuing pressure on other countries to sideline him suggests, to me at least, that this ruthless government is unwilling to defend its treatment of Tibetans in the court of world opinion. No wonder.

Simon Young, Qatar

Happy birthday Nelson Mandela

Thank you for reporting on the love letters to a great man (Long Live Nelson Mandela, July 18) at a mall in Abu Dhabi.

The whole world should be in awe of this heroic man's sacrifices and his wisdom.

Gert Malan, Dubai

The aftermath of a scandal

I am astounded by how rapidly the News of the World scandal is

spreading through the highest circles in the United Kingdom (London's police chief quits over scandal, July 18).

Rebekah Brooks arrested, the police chief out, hard questions for David Cameron, the prime minister, Rupert Murdoch reviled in all quarters.

And now there are problems for his companies in America.

Neville Greene, Abu Dhabi

Check your air conditioners

Your story Keeping cool in UAE can have health costs (July 4) is on a very interesting topic.

People should pay more attention to what's going on around them and be more concerned.

Many health issues are raised through air conditioning systems if they are not checked regularly and watched carefully.

Hend Alameri, Abu Dhabi