x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Taxi reforms good for car sales?

A reader argues that when it gets harder to flag a taxi, the incentive to own a car increases. Other letter subjects: bilingualism, Iraq's plight, Syria's misery, family budgets, and abandoned cars.

Flagging down a taxi, now easy in Abu Dhabi, will get harder, a reader complains. Sammy Dallal / The National
Flagging down a taxi, now easy in Abu Dhabi, will get harder, a reader complains. Sammy Dallal / The National

I am sorry to hear that Abu Dhabi is trying to reduce the number of taxis cruising the streets to pick people up. (Taxi fares in Abu Dhabi to increase with minimum flagfalls next month, April 5).

Flagging down a cab is by far the most efficient way to get around town. Calling for one will be slower, even at the best of times, and will cost Dh3 I do not now pay.

So my choice is slower more expensive trips, or else standing in the heat for a longer time trying to flag a cab. I guess I'll just have to buy a car.

Davis Cooper, Dubai

If officials really want to decrease the number of cabs driving around empty looking for fares - and I'm not really sure this is a good idea - probably the best way to do it would be to raise petrol prices.

In fact this would be an effective way to reduce the number of cars on the road in general. Doing that while accelerating the pace of bus-service improvement would be truly effective.

I should add that the bus service is already quite good compared to a few years ago. But more frequent service and more air-conditioned bus shelters are still needed.

Peter Ewart, Abu Dhabi

Firms should use two languages

Many expatriates have invested in companies listed on the UAE's stock markets. But these companies are still sending corporate notices about annual general meetings and other occasions to investors in the Arabic language.

A few companies, such as Dubai Islamic Bank, do send notices bilingually but many others do not.

The appropriate authorities should make bilingual notifications mandatory.

KV Shamsudheen, Sharjah

The agony of Iraq is still far from over

Recently I met an Iraqi professional man who told me that invading Iraq was the best thing George W Bush ever did.

He said Iraq is much better off, despite all its current problems, without Saddam Hussein.

Of course, this opinion was coming from an Iraqi who has been living outside of his country for more than 20 years and won't go back.

Your story Baghdad fell … and nine years later it's still falling (April 9) reflects a view that I think is more common among those who live in Iraq.

My own opinion, as one who lived in Iraq for 18 months in the 1990s, is that a great opportunity was lost after Saddam's death.

Joseph Bulat, Abu Dhabi

It would be dumb to trust Assad

Bashar Al Assad says he will stop killing his people only if they promise to stop fighting back (Lay down your arms or no deal, says Syria, April 9).

This is like a lion asking a lamb to stop resisting. How can anyone, even somebody with a career record as controversial as Kofi Annan's, trust this regime at all?

Name withheld by request

US public sector workers overpaid

Sorry, but I don't feel very sorry for the people mentioned in your story US public sector workforce feels the pinch (April 9). I was once one of the those government workers, in Washington DC, and I know the truth.

In the US, as almost everywhere around the world, public-sector workers enjoy better pay, better benefits and much more job security than their counterparts in the private sector. And many of them don't work very hard.

In fact, there's a common saying in the US, "good enough for government work" used to justify sloppiness.

It's about time that these people share the economic woes of the private sector that creates the wealth.

John W Simpson, Abu Dhabi

It's just too easy to not save money

I recognised my husband and myself in Hala Khalaf's column With financial responsibility comes an element of guilt (April 9).

I usually enjoy her articles about married life. This one, about having two incomes and not coordinating spending or having a budget, sounds quite like our household, too.

I know we should be saving more, but it's just too easy not to.

Karen Romain, Dubai

Abandoned cars are a sad waste

Abandoned cars in their thousands cause problems for Dubai communities (April 8) reveals a waste of good cars, when there are people here in Dubai with so little.

It's terrible that some expatriates cut and run rather than sort out their affairs responsibly. But can these cars not be sold off and the money given to good causes?

Debra Clark, Dubai