x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

The two sides of the bottled water mark-up debate

The elevated price of local water in area restaurants must be reduced, one reader suggests. Other letters deal with corruption in Pakistani cricket, a newspaper's demise, and sackings at the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.

A reader criticises standards at News of the World and its parent company News Corp. Carly Court / AFP
A reader criticises standards at News of the World and its parent company News Corp. Carly Court / AFP

I was thrilled to see the article about restaurants and their attitude towards bottled water (Restaurants charging too much for water, July 10).

It is a subject close to my heart as I insist on local water at restaurants and will leave a restaurant that refuses to serve it. At a recent visit to Hakkasan at the Emirates Palace, I insisted that the manager order local water from room service for me rather than compelling me to drink imported water. I encountered this same vanity among the chefs in Singapore where all the tap water is safe to drink everywhere.

At home, I know that my tanks are clean and well maintained so I always drink tap water. Surely, the newer hotels should also have well-maintained tanks making it perfectly safe to drink the tap water; indeed, there are regulations giving guidance on maintaining plumbing and storage tanks.

Thanks to your article, I am now aware of the law and will always insist on tap water, or, at the very least, water bottled locally and report establishments who don't comply.

Maggie Hannan, Abu Dhabi

It is disappointing to hear that the Ministry of Economy has taken it upon itself to dictate how restaurants must structure their product pricing followed by the accordance of this practice by your writers.

At our restaurant we charge Dh21 for a large bottle of imported mineral water. But we make, at the end of the month, around 12 per cent net profit - and not over 2000 per cent as would be expected by executing this practice.

It is because the pricing of our water is used to offset the prices of other dishes. Here our customers demand only the best and freshest - so we have our own bakery, pastry kitchen, restaurant and cafe that all use the best available produce. This in itself comes at a higher cost.

If we were to charge no more than Dh10 for water, we would struggle to break even unless we increased the prices everywhere else - and this would result in us pricing ourselves out of the market and the restaurant would close.

Stringent dictation of pricing (and policy) is certainly not the answer, no more than it is to say that one cannot charge more than Dh20,000 for a Mercedes as this is triple the cost of their metal and plastic components.  Business just doesn't work that way.

Name withheld by request

Readers defend Pakistani cricket

Your headline Misbah: Playing for Pakistan is mental torture (July 5) echoes the same language as would have been done by a cheap British or an Indian tabloid.

Misbah never said that "Playing for Pakistan is mental torture...". In case of any doubt kindly see the interview. Saying such controversies are like mental torture does not mean that playing for your country is mental torture. Kindly choose your words correctly.

Amjad Shah, Abu Dhabi

In reference to the recent story ICC runs the risk of marginalising PCB (June 27), I do not agree with the report of the ICC.

The main purpose of the inquiry was to find ways to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. The report does not address the matter, rather it looks to micromanage the board's activities. Furthermore, it hardly looks into the reality of Pakistan cricket. This is evident from the fact that the team didn't visit Pakistan even once.

Jawad Hussain, Abu Dhabi

Good riddance to bad newspaper

Now we finally know what all decent right minded people knew all along: that the bosses, journalists and editors at the News of the World are morally bankrupt.

What is no more than a comic of tittle tattle with zero newsworthy stories, the NOTW has come to an inglorious demise. The entire News Corp empire is similarly rotten with the right-wing Fox News, the tabloid UK-based Sky News and of course Murdoch's other publication, The Sun.

Adil Ali, UK

Sackings blamed on wrong person

In regard to the news story about Roberto Minczuk, the director of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (Poor conduct from orchestra leader, June 13), it was the local union that was responsible for the mass dismissal of musicians.

Many musicians now regret the outcome, and some even decided to negotiate apart from the union and return to the orchestra.

It is not as many thought, that no negotiations took place. The administration was open to discuss until the last minute but the union did not want to flex its muscles.

Now this is over, new musicians have been hired and the 2011-2012 season is here, leaving this horrendous chapter behind.

Gennady Kupperheimer, Russia