x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A tribute to great dhow voyages of the past

The article Jewel sets sail on a tide of history (February 16) described the planned voyage of a traditional dhow from Muscat to Singapore.

A reader applauds the launch of the Jewel of Muscat, a dhow built using the methods and materials of 9th century Arab shipbuilders. The dhow's final destination is Singapore.
A reader applauds the launch of the Jewel of Muscat, a dhow built using the methods and materials of 9th century Arab shipbuilders. The dhow's final destination is Singapore.

The article Jewel sets sail on a tide of history (February 16) described the planned voyage of a traditional dhow from Muscat to Singapore. Tim Severin made the very same journey some 30 years ago and wrote about his account in his book The Sindbad Voyage, which I found fascinating. This inspired me as a design student to explore more about the Arabian dhow and the stories of Arabian adventurers and trade routes, which are still as important today as they were when first opened up by the early voyagers. I trust a similar log will be written up on this historic voyage. The dhow is a truly amazing vessel which has immense historical significance for the region and to its origins as a trading hub. SG, Dubai

I refer to Parking fines to go on all night (February 16). The logic for charging people for parking is to make parking available to them before charging them fees. Unfortunately, the number of cars is more than the parking available. Even having a permit will not secure you a parking space, especially at night. The Municipal Department of Transport (DoT) should have started building multi-storey parking in advance. Not having enough parking is not the people's mistake. It is a city planning mistake. Whatever you charge people day and night the problem will not be solved but just shifted to other areas. Therefore, the DoT should start as soon as possible to build multi-storey parking. As an engineer I can tell you using steel beams over existing parking can solve the problem fast, easily and effectively. Osama Kdair, Abu Dhabi

Well done, Municipal Department of Transport - a move long overdue, and often promised by the Municipality, but never delivered. Can't afford to pay for parking permits? Simple - scrap your car, and take the bus. The cost of car ownership in this country is far too low, leading to congestion and lack of parking. The original city master plan was not designed for these levels of car ownership. There should be incentives for people on the island: if they scrap a car, they and their family should be given free bus passes for a year. Schemes like this operate in the UK. Efforts should be made to dissuade commuters - especially those from off island - from driving onto the island. Park-and-ride coupled with tolls on the bridges: either pay to drive onto the island or park-and-ride. We need to get the city moving now and not wait for metros and trams. Ford Desmoineaux, Abu Dhabi

I read Sultan Al Qassemi's opinion article Some long-term residents should have residency (February 13). I was a regular visitor to the UAE from 1973 to 1976 and first came to live here for a short time in the late 1970s, before returning in 1998.

I have spent the last 11 years contributing to the social and economic growth of this country, which I now call home. I am 58 years old and I would like to spend the rest of my days here, doing what I can to contribute to the development of this country. I do not wish to become a UAE citizen. However, I would like the option to continue to enjoy residency status and to die in the country I now think of fondly as my home. Granting long-term residency to individuals who have made the UAE their home, in the true sense of the word, would not have a detrimental impact on Emiratis and their society. Rather, allowing long-term residency would motivate more non-Emiratis to give their best for the mutual benefit of Emiratis and non-Emiratis. Malcolm Ward, Dubai

In reference to Peter Hellyer's opinion article The complexities of residency deserve debate (February 16), I totally agree with him. I have been in the UAE since 1979, and like him, if asked where I come from I would say Dubai but the UK originally.

I do think this is an important issue for people who have built large businesses here over the years. Their children are also a big issue, as Mr Hellyer rightly says. I have friends whose children were born here, are at university in the UK, but consider Dubai their home and want to return. However their parents are intending to return to the UK in the next couple of years, so unless the children can get jobs here and afford accommodation, what do they do? It's a very thorny issue. Lizzie English, Dubai

The front-page article Photography lesson: shoot a sunset, go to jail (February 16) described the arrest of an amateur photographer for taking a picture of military facilities from Khalifa Bridge. This is most unfair. The accused has a point by saying there were no warning signs. This is such an enormous let-down by the law of the UAE. Yasin Bin, Australia