x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Some biofuels are better than others

Taking farmland to grow crops for biofuel is not sensible, a reader argues. Other letter subjects today: 24-hour shopping, water use, the rapper 50 Cent, doctor testing, and preschool schedules.

Fuel for Dubai's new biodiesel
Fuel for Dubai's new biodiesel "green bus" should ideally come from rubbish, a reader says. Picture courtesy of RTA

Will 24-hour mall openings win shopper support?

I'm writing about Open-all-hours mall experiment in Dubai gets under way (October 20).

I am looking forward to going Dubai Mall at 5am next Saturday.

It should be a great time to shop because stores that are often really crowded, especially food shops, will be empty. I like having choice.

Theo Soudakis, Dubai

Your story makes it clear that nobody knows if this experiment will succeed or fail. I hope it fails.

Really, what a bad idea this is. In my opinion the only shops that should be open around the clock are pharmacies.

Suzanne Zakoor, Dubai

Fans like 50 Cent for wrong reasons

I refer to US rapper 50 Cent inspires Dubai youngsters (October 19).

It is interesting to learn of this rapper's charity projects. I think he was lucky, rather than smart, with his lucrative water-company investment, but I still must give him credit for trying to use his profits generously and well.

However, I was saddened to read that many of the young people at his appearance were expecting to hear his lyrics about violence and drugs, rather than a serious talk about serious subjects.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

We must control our water use

Water consumption: a Dubai family turns off the taps for a weekend (October 18) raises very important points. We all have to reduce our water consumption.

It's all summed up in this one sentence: "In the UAE, per capita water usage is 550 litres per person per day, global national average is 250 litres per person each day."

C Lewis, Dubai

That story was quite interesting. Water certainly is a problem in the Arabian Peninsula, but "we didn't even try to wash our clothes" and "we all felt a lot grubbier than usual" are not the answer.

The first place I would start would be with all the water used to irrigate our green medians and verges in the cities of the UAE. Even if this is "grey" water not suitable for drinking, it is being wasted on landscaping when it could be used for agriculture or otherwise. I'm no engineer but there must be more practical ways to use the water we have.

Archie Sandoval, Dubai

Property flipping will not end well

Investors 'flipping' Dubai properties a worrying sign, brokers warn (October 18) means that another crisis is on the horizon. When property prices are hiked up by greed it can end only one way.

Everyone involved in property should concentrate on filling existing empty buildings and finishing stalled construction projects.

Name withheld by request

Preschools should open year-round

I am glad that the Dubai education authority may regulate all preschools and nurseries (October 14). At present it almost seems that nurseries in Dubai are against working parents.

Why do they need to operate only on a school term basis? Closing in summer makes life a misery for parents. They have to find alternative arrangements that can be difficult for the child, who might have to go to an unfamiliar place.

Why can't nurseries just open every day, except public holidays? They charge enough; but don't get me started on that.

E Baxter, Dubai

Make doctors take regular retests

The UK health ministry has made it mandatory for doctors to have annual assessments and five-yearly competence tests. Such checks are already in practice for pilots.

I recently had an unpleasant experience with a dentist who I thought was less than professional, and who ordered what I thought were unnecessary X-rays.

I hope the UAE Health Ministry will follow the British lead.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

Not all biodiesel is created equal

It was good to read about the launch of a biodiesel-powered bus (Green Bus to roll into Dubai streets, October 18) but as the popularity of such vehicles increases, questions must be asked about the source of the biodiesel.

If it could all be obtained from recycling of waste this would be a significant contribution to the reduction of pollution and carbon dioxide, but instead farm land is being turned over to biofuel-producing crops. The land is therefore removed from food production.

Is this big business, driven by faceless and amoral investors and shareholders, diverting yet more precious resources to wealthier parts of the world?

Will Higgs, Abu Dhabi