Readers respond to The National's coverage and issues of the day.
Two views on taxi service at the Abu Dhabi airport
In reference to the news article Taxi passengers taken for a ride (February 27), I'm a frequent flyer from Abu Dhabi airport and whenever I reach the airport I am greeted by the smiling faces of the young Emirati customer service team and then all airport authorities are so good in dealing with the passengers.
Upon my arrival, I usually take a cab from the lower level of the airport and I do appreciate the queuing service for the taxis/limos. All are treated equally and families or ladies traveling alone are always given priority which reflects the culture and hospitality of this country.
Reaching my turn, I am always greeted by customer service staff professionally groomed in black uniform and asked if I would prefer to go for a meter taxi or a luxury limo which is available just next to these meter taxis with fixed airport fares.
We should appreciate all the efforts of the Abu Dhabi airport where we feel a home-like atmosphere whenever we travel from here.
Abu Umar, Abu Dhabi
Every traveller should know that it is dangerous when arriving at the airport of an unfamiliar country to get into an unmarked, meter-less car.
Airports with a taxi booking desk inside the terminal are safest or at least a taxi with signage and a meter is a reassurance.
In January, I refused to get into the unmarked black car I was directed to and jumped in a silver taxi instead.
The poor driver was terrified about taking me and only did so after I refused to get out and he got permission from the overseer who was directing passengers to expensive unmarked sedans.
Ron Priestley, Abu Dhabi
Startups need a smoother path
I would like to thank Khalid al Ameri for his opinion article Startups need critical minds and deep pockets to thrive (March 1) that voices a very important and common concern that licensing, regulations and banking issues are hampering the success of small and medium businesses in the region.
Unfortunately, the rules and regulations discussed in the article are not only a block in the way of young entrepreneurs, but even in the way of young Emiratis trying to start up charity organisations and non-profit initiatives.
As mentioned in the article, in other parts of the world the registration of any individual or independent business, profit or nonprofit, doesn't take more than a couple of days while here it takes up to months, until the young initiator loses interest, enthusiasm or both.
I strongly agree with the writer when he says that entrepreneurship should be encouraged at a young age.
I can't help feeling sad every time I go to the mall and I see school and university aged girls and boys roaming around aimlessly, while I know that they are enthusiastic, intelligent and full of energy and talent but lack the proper guidance on how to put all that to good use.
I think these young people would come a long way if they had someone to develop, encourage and support their ideas.
Hind al Yousef, Abu Dhabi
One disadvantage startups face is that banks are really focused on short-term profit by nature. The Government and the business men should have more initiatives. On top of all that, the Government should change its attitude towards startups.
These can really be a huge part of the economy even in such an oil-based economy in the Gulf area. If you complain about regulations in UAE, you should really see what's the situation here in Saudi Arabia.
Salem Bahakeem, Saudi Arabia
More on Spanish labour law
I refer to the sports article Barcelona paying for being so frugal (March 1). In Spain, it is illegal to hire a professional footballer before the age of 18, hence the smaller pay compared to England where it is legal to hire professional footballers as young as 16 and pay them professional wages instead of allowances.
The law is there because Spain feels that at ages below 18, a footballer needs to focus on the game more than the salary, more like an amateur status in the sport.
That is why the Barcelona football team president Sandro Rosell has called Arsenal's hiring of young Spanish football players immoral.
Anthony Aggie, Abu Dhabi
Iraqi journalists insulted by charge
The article Activists held over protest in Iraq (March 2) reported that Iraqi authorities are using violence and bribes to curb dissent.The author is writing as if all Iraqi journalists took the government bribes. He should have put the word "some" instead. By not doing this, he is insulting and defaming all Iraqi journalists.
B Kassakhoon, Iraq