x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Women need more work-out facilities

A reader expresses disappointment that the UAE does not provide enough women-only health and fitness facilities. Other letter topics: Muslims, housemaids, UAE economy, English accent, cars

WEB A reader says the UAE needs larger number of women-only health and fitness facilities. Sarah Dea / The National
WEB A reader says the UAE needs larger number of women-only health and fitness facilities. Sarah Dea / The National

Don't paint every individual with the same brush

The word "housemaid" tends to conjure up words such as suppressed and oppressed.

I am happy to say that in the 12 years I have lived in the Middle East, I have witnessed otherwise. I have seen maids and nannies being treated well by their employers, be they Arabs, non-Arabs, or expatriates.

I have seen them being offered food first before others eat in the house and often eating at the same table as the families they live with, as one of their own, and in fine restaurants placing orders according to their own preferences.

If they fall ill or are injured, they are given the best possible treatment, at little cost spared. Many nannies and maids often travel to popular tourist destinations such as New York, London, Madrid, and to other more exotic locales to which they would not be given the necessary visas from their own home countries. When they travel, they are ensured similar living accommodation as their adopted families. Of course they are still required to do the work their job entails, for which they are paid.

If there is any mistreatment, the UAE has stringent laws in place to protect their basic human rights of food, accommodation, rest and the right to be treated with dignity.

I have yet to see a maid or nanny chomping down a plate of soggy fries in the Middle East. It is unfair to paint everyone with the same brush.

Seema Anjum, Bahrain

Make effort to bridge a divide

I believe Muslim communities and NGOs in the West will have to play a key role in resolving misunderstandings between Islam and the western world (Muslim MP's milestone, July 2).

This will need a lot of role modelling and talk shows that would clarify a lot of unexplained stigmas associated with the religion.

Amir Nawaz, Abu Dhabi

More facilities for women needed

I refer to the article Women need more opportunities to exercise and keep fit (June 16).

As a Muslim woman from the UK who loves to work out, I have to confess to being a little disappointed with the limited availability of facilities for women in the UAE.

In the UK, a wide range of activities and facilities that are available for women are accessible in terms of location and price.

I had hoped to find more ladies-only swimming venues and public facilities. Thanks to Reema Al Ahbabi for highlighting such a relevant issue. I hope that the right people in the right places take heed.

H Osman, UK

Economy needs to be diversified

Is there nothing to build other than shopping malls and cineplexes (Majid Al Futtaim plans Dh3bn investment in Dubai, June 30)?

The Government, as well as the people of this country, should think long-term rather than taking a short-term view to development.

If a company like Dubai Aluminium can be built once in every five years in different parts of the UAE, the country's economy is bound to flourish. But as of now the economy is solely dependent on tourism and visitors. In the long term, it may not prove to be enough.

Vijaykumar, India

Accent comment not meant to hurt

I am responding to the letter Comment on accents insulting (June 30).

Being an Indian, I wouldn't want to insult myself. Speaking in a particular accent doesn't make anyone superior or inferior.

In the case of Indians, the way some people speak makes others make fun of them. It's a fact, nothing to feel insulted about.

Moiz SA, Sharjah

Future cars can be built with plastic

I enjoyed reading the article Car makers steeled for plastic age (June 26) by Tony Glover.

There are many reasons cars of the future will be made with plastics, the most obvious being that car makers must achieve the average of 24 kilometres per litre by 2025, and the lightweight yet strong properties of plastic materials contribute to improved fuel efficiency, without sacrificing safety.

It will be interesting to watch how car makers continue to find new and innovative ways to incorporate sustainable materials such as plastic into future vehicles.

Rob Krebs, USA