x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

You say potato, I say buy local

A reader supports UAE farmers who want to sell their produce to the local market. Other topics: beachwear, Indian rape cases and Britain's benefits culture.

A reader supports UAE potato farmers' efforts to produce for the local market. Silvia Razgova / The National
A reader supports UAE potato farmers' efforts to produce for the local market. Silvia Razgova / The National

Benefits culture assists Britain's bankers and MPs

I would like to correct the inaccurate impression advanced in the letter Benefits culture familiar to Brits (April 22).

In the UK, according to the government's own figures, 3 per cent of the welfare budget goes to unemployed claimants.

A very large portion of the welfare bill goes to low-paid working families in the form of child and housing benefits.

So, actually, working people benefit most from welfare - and their own tax contributions.

Expatriate Britons do not pay income tax in their homeland yet many of them enjoyed excellent education and public welfare services before heading off to earn their tax-free salaries in the Gulf.

The biggest scandal regarding defrauding public funds in the UK in recent years was the false expenses claims by British Members of Parliament.

And let us not forget the generations of British taxpayers who will be paying for the excesses of irresponsible bankers for decades to come.

So when criticising the "benefits culture" of the UK let us correctly identify the main culprits - fat-cat bankers and MPs.

Andrew O'Sullivan, Dubai

RAK bikini ban has wider implications

Bikini ban for RAK public beaches (April 23) contains a message for the Dubai government.

I'm aware that tourism is extremely important for Dubai.

However, the standard of dress among tourists and expatriates has clearly declined during the 13 years that I have been here.

In fact, I am leaving Dubai, because it is not special to live here any more.

If you stand still for an hour, for example on Sheikh Zayed Road, you will see how badly women tourists are "dressed". And this is during daytime; you don't want to see how they look at night. Name withheld by request


The answer to the problem is something the Victorians used to call "bathing machines", which took women directly to the water so men could not see them.

These should be introduced on all beaches in the UAE.

Roger Plumridge, UK

At the end of the day, it's about respect. However, times are changing, and respect has been lost all over this world.

Although I think some women go to extremes in what they're wearing, there are bikinis that do cover a woman and are not offensive.

Even as a westerner myself, I have been shocked by what some expatriate women are wearing (or not wearing) on Abu Dhabi's Corniche beach. It is supposed to be a family beach.

Many people from the West agree that there should be some degree of conservatism, as we are in a Muslim country. Again, it's about respecting not only others, but yourself first.

One misconception, however, is that it's only western men and women who dress in a trashy way. I have seen people from all backgrounds wearing almost nothing on UAE beaches. Chris Murray, Abu Dhabi


India's rapists must face death penalty

I am writing in reference to Indian culture, not chow mein, is to blame for sex crimes (April 21).

The law recently passed by India's Parliament should be amended to include a specific clause that anybody who commits this type of crime against a woman shall face a mandatory death sentence, regardless of whether the victim died as a result of the attack.

The social stigma that a female victim has to suffer after a sex attack is very great. She has to endure a "living death".

It is time for Indian MPs to amend the law, so the judiciary has no excuse to drag these cases out forever.

Haridas Nayak, India

Hunting gazelles hardly stress-free

There seems to be a contradiction in First game hunting resort to open in UAE (March 26).

The story says the resort is "going to be a very boutique hotel" with a Jacuzzi and sauna, costing Dh1,000 a night.

Yet, the resort is also said to be for people who want to "just relax and enjoy time away from civilisation and the stress of work just practising their hobby".

A Smyth, Dubai

I'm very surprised that they are allowing people to slaughter these beautiful gazelles simply for "fun". I Fletcher, Abu Dhabi

You say potato, I say buy local

I am writing in reference to Support your local potato farmers (April 23).

I will buy local produce, if given the choice.

Nicola Ablett, Abu Dhabi