x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Playing golf should begin at grassroots

In reference to the sport article Westwood pulls up ahead in style, the irony of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee leading after two days of the Dubai Desert Classic is not lost. Had Jaidee been working in Dubai, he would have been working as a buggy boy or a range boy.

England's Lee Westwood competes in the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament. A reader suggests that golf be promoted at the grassroots level of UAE society.
England's Lee Westwood competes in the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament. A reader suggests that golf be promoted at the grassroots level of UAE society.

In reference to the sport article Westwood pulls up ahead in style (February 5), the irony of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee leading after two days of the Dubai Desert Classic is not lost. Had Jaidee been working in Dubai, he would have been working as a buggy boy or a range boy on about Dh900 per month, stacking balls next to the driving mats for members who could barely hit the ball out of the tee box. There are certainly some "hidden gems" among the army of ball boys working in the golf clubs of UAE, some of whom are scratch players. It begs the question, are the local events meant to encourage the development of golf at the grassroots level or merely a tourist ploy to attract the well-heeled hackers from the traditional golf playing countries and continue to maintain the status quo with scant concern about spreading the game to others? Charles Little, Abu Dhabi

With reference to the article Dubai World repayment plan hits an obstacle (February 4): what the Dubai Financial Support Fund (DFSF) is doing is akin to the US Resolution Trust Corp back in the early 1990s with the S&L loans crisis, and what essentially the US Federal Reserve is doing today: packaging distressed assets and holding them so the market can recover.

So it is no surprise that DFSF would want to be the senior creditor - the traditional, well-honed practice. After all, it is taking most of the risk, and with history as a guide, payments made over time from property rentals or sales should more than offset initial losses. The banks should thus accept this structure as in their best interests. But of course, the newly formed consortium will want to dither and complain. Déjà vu all over again. Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi

In reference to the article 'Black magic' cash-doubling scam lands men in court (February 1), this is similar to the "double your money" scam during the heady days of 2006-2007. Take a mortgage loan, buy a property on paper and sell the paper in six months for double the amount. I did that in that trick in June 2008 and instead of doubling, the value has halved. I am now stuck with a huge mortgage. Looking at the brighter side, I will spend more time in the lovely UAE. Ravikiran MA, Abu Dhabi

I refer to the article Cut that horn, we're trying to sleep (February 2). If the authorities can tackle smoking in public, they can take care of the noise problem as well. It's not just at the Rashidiya bus terminal either; noise is everywhere. I live on a busy street in Abu Dhabi and the horn honking is virtually incessant. In addition, loud motorcycles and sport cars scream down the road nearly 24 hours a day with absolutely no concern for the ruckus they are creating. There are health issues involved here. Police show little interest in fixing the problem. Everyone is asked to be patient or told that nothing can be done. Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

When I first moved to the UAE 18 months ago, I moved to the right and allowed whoever was flashing and tailgating me to go ahead. I figured it was his life, his problem. However it's not just his life; he is endangering the lives not only of those whom he is attempting to force off the lane, but also the lives of every other driver in his vicinity. Chain-reaction fatal accidents happen all the time. I have news for you tailgaters. I drive a silver SL500 and if you tailgate me, be prepared for me to drive even slower and wave at you as you choose to lay on your horn and wear out your flashers. I'm tired of being bullied on the road. Melanie Lefebvre, Al Ain

The article NYU and Abu Dhabi write joint charter for workers' rights (February 5) described how New York University demanded a set of protective rules for workers constructing its Saadiyat Island campus. Every company I worked for in Abu Dhabi complied with these rules and more. These rules are not new and unheard-of introductions to the labour law; they're already part of it and have been for quite some time. What NYU just did is simply force the few rogue companies to comply with the law, and nothing more.

As for recruitment fees, you can't blame the government for what someone does in his home country. No one wants to sell their land to move here, but plenty will do that and more to get a chance to work in the Gulf, so who is at fault? Mounir S, Abu Dhabi