Readers admire the efforts of desert trekkers Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron in recreating one of the journeys of the late British adventurer Wilfred Thesiger. John Henzell / The National
Readers admire the efforts of desert trekkers Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron in recreating one of the journeys of the late British adventurer Wilfred Thesiger. John Henzell / The National

Journey into history

I was interested to read about the return of the "expat package" (Bonuses are back - but this time the lid stays on, December 10).

It seems to me that, in good times or bad, it is better for businesses to offer bonuses rather than fixed wages and perks.

While a certain guaranteed salary is necessary to attract the right candidates, their further remuneration should be contingent on their performance.

This works well for both the employer and the employee. Put simply: do a good job and the sky's the limit.

However, earning a bonus should never be a foregone conclusion. For example, we were all appalled to learn that many British bankers were still getting bonuses after their businesses had been bailed out by the government following the most recent financial crisis.

As my father used to say, we all deserve a good day's pay for a good day's work.

Ian Dunn, Abu Dhabi

Traffic diversion needs a rethink

I am writing in response to the letter Tunnel criticisms not warranted (December 10).

Since the opening of Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Tunnel, it has taken me almost twice as long as usual to get to work.

The tunnel provides no help for motorists who wish to access the Sheikh Zayed Bridge from any other outbound areas not originating from the Corniche or Mina Zayed, which includes all the streets in the Tourist Club area.

All surface traffic still travels via Salam Street but now the traffic coming from 11th Street (Defence Road) is diverted to the signal at the Sea Palace intersection.

This reconfiguration has now caused more congestion than we experienced before the tunnel was open, and is working against the goal of keeping traffic moving.

There seems to be no reason for diverting the traffic coming from Defence Road instead of allowing it to merge directly onto Salam Street as it did previously.

I believe the red cones should be removed, allowing vehicles to merge onto Salam Street without having to stop for an unnecessary signal.

Cora Yanacek, Abu Dhabi

Acknowledging a spirit of adventure

I admire Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron's physical efforts and their flexibility in exchanging a planned expedition to the South Pole for a trek across the Oman desert (The unexpected adventure, December 10).

They also deserve credit for drawing attention to the pioneering adventures of Wilfred Thesiger back in the 1940s.

Charles Bryant, Abu Dhabi

I enjoyed this story, even though it did contain an error. Leon McCarron is from Northern Ireland and, therefore, he is not English as stated.

Those of us who are Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish are proud of being British but we get very upset by being called English.

Lucia Smith, Dubai

Thankful for the good life in UAE

After living 37 years in the UAE, I am going back to my home country within a few days.

I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to late Sheikh Zayed and the current Rulers of this wonderful country, and its loving people, for giving me an opportunity to lead a peaceful and happy life.

I have witnessed the steady growth of this country over nearly four decades, and I am sure that it will grow further in the coming years under its wise leadership.

I will definitely miss this happy and peaceful place, but I am sure that the many sweet memories I have of the UAE will remain with me for the rest of my life.

KP Muhammad, Abu Dhabi

Assistance much better than in US

Aid to help needy families stand on own (December 10) says a couple with two children earning Dh15,700 a month or less will be eligible for government assistance.

I find it difficult to understand how a family of four earning the equivalent of $4,274 per month (or $51,288 a year) needs help from the government.

Most US families only dream of making $50,000 per year. Two parents, both working full time at US minimum wage, would earn $30,160 a year - before taxes.

L Mansell, US

Confusion over sale of alcohol

I am writing in reference to 'Raped' woman fined for drinking alcohol (December 6).

I think the Dubai authorities should make the liquor laws clear for all. In the time I have spent in the UAE I have seen a lot of people consuming alcohol.

What happens to outlets that sell liquor to people with no licences?

C Blackmore, Dubai

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)


Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5


Featherweight 4 rounds:
Yousuf Ali (2-0-0) (win-loss-draw) v Alex Semugenyi (0-1-0)
Welterweight 6 rounds:
Benyamin Moradzadeh (0-0-0) v Rohit Chaudhary (4-0-2)
Heavyweight 4 rounds:
Youssef Karrar (1-0-0) v Muhammad Muzeei (0-0-0)
Welterweight 6 rounds:
Marwan Mohamad Madboly (2-0-0) v Sheldon Schultz (4-4-0)
Super featherweight 8 rounds:
Bishara Sabbar (6-0-0) v Mohammed Azahar (8-5-1)
Cruiseweight 8 rounds:
Mohammed Bekdash (25-0-0) v Musa N’tege (8-4-0)
Super flyweight 10 rounds:
Sultan Al Nuaimi (9-0-0) v Jemsi Kibazange (18-6-2)
Lightweight 10 rounds:
Bader Samreen (8-0-0) v Jose Paez Gonzales (16-2-2-)

The Saga Continues

Wu-Tang Clan

(36 Chambers / Entertainment One)

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

The Specs

Price, base Dh379,000
Engine 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6
Gearbox eight-speed automatic
Power 503bhp
Torque 443Nm
On sale now


UAE 2-1 Saudi Arabia

UAE Mabkhout 21’, Khalil 59’

Saudi Al Abed (pen) 20’

Man of the match Ahmed Khalil (UAE)

Imperial Island: A History of Empire in Modern Britain

Author: Charlotte Lydia Riley
Publisher: Bodley Head
Pages: 384

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The biog

Job: Fitness entrepreneur, body-builder and trainer

Favourite superhero: Batman

Favourite quote: We must become the change we want to see, by Mahatma Gandhi.

Favourite car: Lamborghini


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and


Director: Carol Mansour

Starring: Aida Abboud, Carol Mansour

Rating: 3.5./5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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