x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sharks are an essential force of nature

A reader says taking away protection for Great White sharks will harm the global ecosystem. Other letter topics: Syria, parking in Abu Dhabi and villa-sharing in Dubai.

A reader says the Great White shark must be protected for the sake of the global ecosystem. EPA / Helmut Fohringer
A reader says the Great White shark must be protected for the sake of the global ecosystem. EPA / Helmut Fohringer

Your story Villa-share crackdown as Dubai rents rise (July 17) begs the question: where are the people who are currently house-sharing going to live?

It seems to me that very few people would choose to share if they could afford to rent a home of their own. And, obviously, that's not going to be possible if the Dubai Municipality campaign of evictions drives rental prices up.

If people on modest incomes have nowhere to live, then they may be forced to leave the country, and there will be gaps in the workforce that can't be filled, affecting the provision of services to everybody else.

Equally, the people who own the villas will be out of pocket if they cannot find families to move in after the single people have been moved out.

I know there are sound reasons for the policy against sharing villas, and I certainly would not like to be a member of a family whose lives were disrupted by a group of rowdy single people next door.

But surely, some sort of middle ground has to be found where affordable housing is made available to the people who need it.

Jane Rogers, Dubai

I understand the rule, because in my country, South Africa, the villas and flats are overrun with multiple families living together and it has become unsafe.

But, in some places, families living together in an organised way is not only affordable for everyone but is part of the culture.

"One family" could refer to mothers and fathers and cousins and siblings.

It is a difficult situation here in Dubai because the villas are so expensive.

Perhaps building just two-bedroom villas in larger complexes without fancy amenities like gyms and swimming pools would make them more affordable.

The law is a good one, but it's harsh on the struggling, hardworking poor.

Tricia Sutherland, Dubai

 

Sharks still need our protection

 

So another surfer dies after an attack in waters known for being Great White territory (Sharks under threat after fifth fatal attack, July 16). Why are we surprised?

However, removing their protected species status will not make them stop occasionally doing what they are designed to do.

If sharks are no longer protected, they will be heavily fished and this will eventually upset the oceans' ecosystem - which is only bad news for us.

Alternatively, we could seek to find better ways of keeping man and shark apart.

Gordon Torbet, Dubai

Russia's refusal to act is irrelevant

Surprise, surprise. Russia again says that the UN should not boot Bashar Al Assad out of Syria (Syrian rebels target Damascus, July 17).

And again everyone is shocked, dismayed and disappointed. Why?

Russia and China have their own reasons not to lift a finger in Syria - but the rest of the world is not waiting for them anymore.

Russia and China have had their chance to be part of the solution. Over and over, they have refused lest they ultimately rattle their own houses of cards.

Fine. But their inaction has committed them to getting out of the way.

They can do so and save face, or that they can continue to object and lose more face.

Either way, things are moving forward without them.

As for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's claim that the West is blackmailing Russia, most countries see it the other way around.

George Kafantaris, US

Killer's family must make amends

Regarding Readers rally to help stricken Kenya family (July 16), the killing of Esther Mwikamba was a deliberate act, not an accident.

Let the attacker's family pay to support this poor girl's family.

C Woolmer, Dubai

Hold employees' gratuities in trust

I am writing in reference to The real victims of insolvency (July 17), about the fate of workers for the collapsed Hastie Group.

I don't understand it. This happens with enough regularity that it should be seen as a chronic problem, yet it's still going on.

At the very least, gratuity payments should be deposited in trust by employers to cover their obligations to their employees.

Jim Buckingham, Abu Dhabi

Parking changes are appreciated

I welcome the decision taken by Mawaqif, as described in Two more hours of paid-for parking (July 17).

The decision will give residents the opportunity to move freely until midnight. Syed Muhammad Humayun, Abu Dhabi