Knight to remember

A reader wonders how many Batman fans didn't wait for the delayed UAE release of The Dark Knight Rises. Other letters topics: small change, runaway maids and street racers,

A reader wonders how many people saw The Dark Knight Rises outside of the UAE. Razan Alzayani / The National
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Retailers must be held accountable over small change

In reference to So where's the change? (August 19), what's the answer? Do we have to use credit cards when we shop?

While I appreciate The National's reporting on this issue, I wonder what the next step is. Where do we go from here? How can retailers be held accountable?

I will not shop at one supermarket chain any longer due to its policies of not giving any change back. I have submitted complaints to its international headquarters without response.

What some shops are doing is tantamount to theft, and I think they need to comment on the issue and give details of their policies.

All of these retailers should be asked to provide audited financials showing where these extra funds go.

Rich MacLaren, Dubai

Tourism drought is an indicator

I found the opinion article In troubled times, the Arabian Peninsula is a tourism oasis (August 16) to be insightful but depressing all the same.

The writer lists places - Tehran, Beirut, Damascus, Sanaa - that were once jewels of the world and attractions for tourists, and not only Muslim ones, from around the world.

Now all of these places, once so alluring, are intimidating and even dangerous for visitors.

And the fall-off in tourism is just an indicator - the bigger problem is that these cities, and to a degree these countries, have become unpleasant, or worse, for their millions of residents as well.

This is all good for tourism in the UAE, I suppose, but it is a sad sign of the overall state of this region.

Michael Khoury, Abu Dhabi

Racers should lose their cars

Street racing by young men is a problem in many countries (Garage accused of fuelling boom in illegal street races, August 21).

In North America, police usually have little trouble knowing where these races will take place, and arrests can follow.

The best penalty is obvious: police should hold the cars involved for three months on a driver's first offence, six on his second, and a year on his third.

And if it's not already a crime for garage owners to encourage such racing, legislation banning, or requiring registration of, such modifications to cars should be considered. James Newton, Canada

Runaway maids not all abused

In reference to We will get you home, runaway Filipinas told (August 21), the embassy officials should look at the reasons maids flee.

It is not always the employer's mistake, although I know some behave badly.

Some Filipinas have run away simply to get a better salary - even though they have only been in the UAE for a few weeks.

When I was searching for a maid I got many calls from women who just wanted to change jobs for a better salary or more days off.

When I asked how many years they had been with their current employer, they would say a few weeks or a maximum of a few months.

This is something their embassy should investigate.

Nadine Doueiry, Dubai

Yes, there are real abuses, but not all runaways have been abused.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai

Batman: better late than never?

I was not surprised to read Dark Knight could rise above rest at box office (August 21).

But I was struck by the quote from Gordon Kirk, the general manager of Reel Cinemas, who called it "one of the most-awaited blockbusters of the summer".

It was, of course, the distributors who made us wait a month after the film's global release.

I would like to know how many UAE residents saw the film first overseas or via illegal download.

Trevor Long, Abu Dhabi

Director's death a reminder to us all

I was very sad to read about the death of Tony Scott, and especially how it happened (Top Gun director dies after jumping off bridge, August 21).

While I would not presume to know his motivations or personal circumstances, I think it is worth noting that help is available for people who are suffering depression or personal problems.

I urge anybody who has problems to consult a doctor or other suitably qualified person.

And I urge everybody to consider that no matter how famous, well-connected, wealthy or "normal" somebody may seem, they could be in need of a helping hand or a kind word.

Reach out to the people in your life; even if it's just a phone call, a text message or an email, it could make a difference.

Kerry Blake, Dubai