Film doesn't reflect reality

A reader notes that the film Salmon fishing in the Yemen takes some liberties with the facts. Other topics: public transport, road safety and wasted water.

RTA on the right track in reducing number of cars

I was pleased to read Metro users up 58 per cent last year, with 109 million passengers (January 20).

The Roads and Transport Authority has done its job in recognising the need to reduce the number of private vehicles.

To achieve that, public transport must be reliable, affordable and efficient - and the Dubai Metro fits the bill on all these counts.

It makes travel between popular places easy and stress-free - certainly more so than braving the Dubai traffic in a small car.

As somebody who lives in Abu Dhabi, I am pleased that there is now a good bus service, but I would dearly love to see an underground rail service here, too. The thought of being able to move about this city without having to cross the road is very inviting.

I suppose the economics of such a project don't yet stack up, despite the city's amazing growth in recent years.

However, the UAE has never been shy to embrace large infrastructure projects, so I hope it's at least being considered.

R McGrath, Abu Dhabi

Editor's note: Planning is well underway for metro and light-rail networks in Abu Dhabi to be operational by 2016-17.

Drivers must look out for children

Boy, 5, dies after bus backs over him (January 19) is a tragic story.

One thing I have noticed in the UAE is that many drivers don't stop when school buses pull up to let their young passengers off.

Even though the buses have their flashing lights on, cars continue to go around them.

A few days ago, I deliberately drove my car into the centre of the road to stop the vehicle behind me from passing.

Had I not done this, I can only imagine what would have happened to the two small children who were crossing the road.

C Murray, Dubai

Pavement needs minor repairs

Abu Dhabi's "east Corniche" - between the mangroves and Sheikh Zayed Street - is a wonderful place for strolling, birdwatching, jogging and other healthy activities.

The pedestrian pavement there has been one of the best in town: long, smooth, unbroken by "street furniture", safe from cars and with a pleasant view.

On a recent visit, however, I noticed broken spots in the pavement. It had been a few months since I'd been there, so I don't know how recent the damage is, or what caused it - maybe vandals, maybe just deterioration.

But some timely repairs would certainly be welcome for the families, older people, joggers and everyone else who uses the walkway.

Samir Khaled, Abu Dhabi

Movie depiction short of the mark

The actor Amr Waked did a fine job in the film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Angling for success, January 20). I have nothing against him.

But the movie, while a charming love story about two westerners, was utterly absurd about Yemen. Waked's character, Sheikh Muhammad, was presented as the wise, benign, serene and just ruler.

Sadly, at the time the book was written and the film made, Yemen was in fact ruled by the opposite kind of man, in the opinion of many, in Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Ahmed El Masry, Dubai

Batteries included, but not charged

Thank you for a fascinating report on power-storage technology (Progress - batteries not included, January 20).

A friend of mine who works in this field in another country tells me that a lot of research money is going into better, lighter batteries.

I hope this pays off, but until battery capacity becomes infinite, there will always be people - I'm one of them - who will forget to recharge until it's too late.

Carlo Banfield, Dubai

Hosing concrete a waste of water

I am writing in reference to your series of reports on Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

I agree that we should reduce water usage, and I think we could start by restricting the amount of water that is used to clean hard surfaces such as cement car parks.

This is a terrible waste of water, especially when almost all the fresh water in the UAE is desalinated, which requires huge amounts of energy to produce.

G Freeman, Dubai

For light classics, Rieu rules roost

I disagree with your statement that the inclusion of André Rieu on the list of top-grossing tours was a surprise (Money in the music, January 20).

Rieu is extremely popular around the world, his concerts and CDs often sell out, and he has done a great deal to introduce the lighter classical repertoire to mass audiences. N Logan, Abu Dhabi