x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

The middle class faces a shortage of housing

New housing will not be within the reach of the middle class, who will have to move outside the city.

A reader praises the many ongoing cultural projects in the UAE, like the renovated Maraya Museum in Sharjah.
A reader praises the many ongoing cultural projects in the UAE, like the renovated Maraya Museum in Sharjah.

In his letter In support of the new property law (March 16), Ziad Q is speaking of a hypothetical result of the housing situation, but most of the construction projects within the island of Abu Dhabi are premium. Therefore new housing will not be within the reach of the middle class who will have to move outside the city. Even if his assumptions are right, there will be no place for the evicted tenants to move until the property market is "regulated".

What about families with children at school? What will they do from January 2011, till the end of the school year in June, providing that the family is given a two-month eviction notice from November 2010? This move will create a huge demand on middle class housing outside the city and will cause even this to become out of financial reach. The market will not regulate itself overnight. It will take at least one rental cycle (a year). The new law is in aid of free trade, but sometimes you have to support regulated trade to stop inflation. Sanfor Shankool, Abu Dhabi

I refer to the article Cultivating culture: The House of Arab Art at the Maraya Art Centre (March 13). What Sultan al Qassemi has been doing, as a young Emirati, to promote art and culture development in the UAE region and raising global awareness about the traditional grandeur of the region's heritage is nothing short of amazing. From writing to brick-and-mortar buildings to exquisite art and manuscript collections, this is all due to a team of dedicated volunteers spearheaded by the visions and ambitions of heritage ambassadors like him. Such a cultural rediscovery seems extended to a new blending with the modern due to renewed global paradigms of trade, growth and rebranding of the Middle East region. I like The Shelter idea as an incubator for the display of creative talent. There are few places like that in our consumerist societies. We need more workshops to attune the young and old to their traditions and what the modern age brings along. Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi

With reference to Justin Thomas's opinion article How to win the battle for our children's attention? (March 15): as a former educator, I can attest that his comments are quite accurate and insightful. Here in the US, we face the same difficulties. To countermand the growing trend of attention problems, we opted to use the Play Attention computer programme.

We discovered it at an educational technology conference. It works on three different areas: cognitive skills needed to be successful at school, attention training, and shaping behaviour. Attention problems seldom exist by themselves; they are directly related to behavioural issues, cognitive deficits, and more. Unless all of these areas are addressed, educational efforts are often quite futile. Kirk Horton, US

In reference to the article Traffic 'Disneyland' to teach children (March 15), this is yet another project that is unfortunately going to do absolutely nothing to reduce speeding and deaths on the roads. Whatever happened to just good policing and serious penalties for serious crimes? I don't remember ever seeing a 'Driving Disneyland' in Europe or the US and things seem better over there.

When people can drive at illegal high speeds right in front of a police car on the motorway without even blinking or thinking for even a split second of what might happen if they got caught, then I really don't see why anybody would behave. Karim Helai, Abu Dhabi

What is the point of this scheme? Everyone, including the police, must know that there are adequate traffic laws already in place but these are not adequately enforced. If a vehicle can happily cruise past a police car at speeds clearly in excess of the legal limit without repercussions, how will teaching youngsters to drive at an early age make any difference if in later life they don't get penalised anyway? There is a way to enhance the attitude of road users in the UAE and it is the most simple: enforce the existing laws and apply them in the same way to everyone. Darren Male, Abu Dhabi

In his letter Ways of looking at staring at people (March 16), Tim Marskell writes that people stare at him because he is a "white man in a suit". I'd like to point out that the male-to-male staring thing is out of curiosity and not contempt as he seems to suggest. I'm an Indian male who wears T-shirts and I get stared at too - just like him. Amaresh Bhaskaran, Abu Dhabi