Abu Dhabi’s taxi drought is both real and recent

The taxi drought in the capital is a real problem, readers say. Other topics: Emiratis in the private sector, Arabic in education and Israel's lies.

Readers report that Abu Dhabi's taxi drought is a real problem. Photo: Srijita Chattopadhyay / The National
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With regard to your story, 'Taxi drought' hits Abu Dhabi (November 26), this is a recent phenomenon. I don't understand why, after being able to step out of my building and find a taxi in no time, all of a sudden we now have to fight to get one.

Instead, I’ve started using Uber, the app-based transport service, because the number of passengers waiting at the bus stops would mean I would never get to work on time.

I prefer to pay more for no hassle, no waiting and a guarantee to reach work on time.

However, on Sunday and Monday, neither Uber nor taxis were available. I walked about two kilometres – this was relatively easy, considering the weather – then found a taxi.

None of the others who were waiting did the same so thankfully I had the advantage.

Nancy Hassan, Abu Dhabi

Whenever I contact the taxi call centre, it is always busy or else I’m told there are no available taxis. It’s frustrating.

People are pushing in front of each other as they try to hail a taxi.

At least the weather is cooler so waiting isn’t as bad.

Samantha Jane Wood, Abu Dhabi

We have the same issue in Dubai, especially when there is an event on.

Taxi drivers get messages on their screens saying all taxis must go to a specific event location or they will be fined, so they all flock to that place. I have seen these messages myself.

What really seems crazy is that you do not seem to be able to book a taxi in advance.

Lisa Justice, Dubai

Room for Emiratis in private sector

After reading your news item, New rules for Emiratis in private sector jobs (November 26), I support private enterprises hiring Emiratis and training them to fit in with the company's culture.

They should be taught about career advancement and how to work their way up. However, private sector companies pay salaries according to skills, knowledge and experience. Young Emiratis cannot and should not expect the same salaries that they would get from government jobs.

The private sector also has different work conditions, with working hours from 9am to 6pm. Although a lot of Emiratis are willing to work those hours, there are some who are not.

But I believe young Emiratis should be treated with a little more attention and companies should offer more opportunities for progression up the corporate ladder.

Training should also be provided to ensure they are equipped with the right skills for career progression.

I believe Emiratis in the private sector should be nurtured, mentored and assisted to reach the same skill level and experience as their expatriate counterparts.

John Paravalos, Dubai

University should remain in English

In reference to your story, Law planned to preserve Arabic language in the UAE (November 26), there is no reason why the goal should not be bilingualism in Arabic and English, with Arabic as the official language of the country.

At present, many students are deficient in both languages. The authorities are right to be concerned about the level of Arabic spoken by students after finishing high school.

However, they should be concerned not only with students’ Arabic proficiency because their competence in maths and science is also a concern.

Sarah Calderwood, Abu Dhabi

I believe Arabic needs to stay at the school level, leaving universities to teach in English. This will help ensure graduates will be competitive in the workforce.

However, this requires high-quality Arabic teaching programmes in the school system. This would allow children to acquire proficiency in Arabic from the nursery to the end of high school.

Dina Abou-Zahr, Dubai

Arabic should be the medium of instruction at universities along with English, as is the case in many countries.

Being competent in one’s mother tongue as well as English will help students be competitive.

Ignoring one’s mother tongue is never a good idea.

Luisa Noor Sedai, Lebanon

‘Jewish state’ law reveals Israel’s lies

With regard to your story, Israel moves closer to declaring Jewish state (November 25), the entire narrative Israel sold everyone about being modern and democratic is clearly being seen for what it always truly was – a complete and utter lie.

Their sole objective is to cleanse Palestine of Palestinians.

Andrew Madu, Dubai