x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Why a Dubai school run is like an action film

A reader says the morning school run can resemble an action film. Other topics: cycle lances, weapons seizures and smartphones.

A reader says the morning school rush can resemble a scene from an action film. Christopher Pike / The National
A reader says the morning school rush can resemble a scene from an action film. Christopher Pike / The National

On quite a few occasions, dropping my children off on the school bus at 6.45am has been as exciting as an edge-of-the-seat thriller movie.

There is high drama at 6.44am, as I run from the apartment towards the lift with a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old.

There is nail-biting suspense as I wait anxiously for the lift to come to my floor, not knowing if it will be packed with other kids or if there will be enough space to accommodate all three of us.

Turns out there isn’t, so I somehow fit the kids in the lift and race down the stairs in my slippery crocs, carrying the children’s bulky bags.

Outside the building, there is a dramatic foot chase as the bus is about to drive off. The kids run in front while I bring up the rear, flailing my arms like a jack in the box, yelling “stop”, hoping to catch the bus driver’s attention.

At times, there is also a Fast & Furious or James Bond-like car chase if the bus has already gone off without my kids and the only option is to try to intercept the bus before it reaches the motorway.

Luckily, this time I did remember to carry the car key. Otherwise, my better half ends up playing a cameo in the chase scene, as she needs to rush downstairs with the key.

It’s small wonder that hardly any romantic movies are shot here in Dubai.

It is, however, the preferred location for mega thrillers such as Mission Impossible 4 and Fast & Furious 7.

Amitabh Saxena, Dubai

Cyclists have a right to use the road network

I am writing in reference to Police chief tells cyclists to stay off the roads (September 21).

It was very sad to hear about the death of cyclist Roy Nasr.

But it is a shame that the Dubai Police traffic chief, Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zaffin, felt it necessary to say: “Riding bicycles on the roads, for the time being ... is unsafe and extremely dangerous.”

While nobody should think that a painted mark on the road designating a bike lane will save cyclists from being hit by cars, we should not frighten cyclists away from using the roads.

Instead, we should raise awareness among car drivers that bikes are vehicles and they have the right to use our roads.

Khaled Al Saqabi, Dubai

Weapon seizures inspire confidence

Reading 2,000 arms seized by Dubai Customs (September 24) made me very grateful that I am living in the UAE.

I feel very safe here, thanks to the laws that ensure that there are no guns, no drugs and no drunkenness on the streets.

I hope these strict standards are maintained.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

Muslim numbers underestimated

The Weekend magazine’s travel article on Bulgaria, The road to Rodopi (September 19), includes some unfounded assumptions and factual errors.

These include the incorrect representation of the Bulgarian Muslim population as proportionally the largest in Europe.

The writer is ignoring the existence of at least six other countries’ Muslim peoples.

The Muslim population in the Republic of Kosovo is 92.7 per cent of the total, followed by Albania (82 per cent), Bosnia (41.6 per cent), Macedonia (34.9 per cent), Cyprus (22.7 per cent) and Montenegro (18.5 per cent).

Bulgaria’s Muslim population is 13.4 per cent.

Martin Gala, Dubai

Support for new smartphone

I refer to Latest BlackBerry now available (September 24), which says that the new Z30 model is on sale in Dubai.

I hope the sales are high for this great Canadian company.

Name withheld by request

Green activists are too intrusive

The activities of “green” groups such as Greenpeace receive a lot of international media attention.

Whatever anyone thinks about the state of our environment, that does not give them the right to abuse people or their property.

The actions of these groups are akin to someone from a town 100 kilometres away, possibly in a different country, hurling abuse at you simply because they do not like the colour of your wallpaper, or because you watch television for more hours than they approve of.

They want to make decisions about other people’s lives and property that does not belong to them.

Fred Nicholson, UK