Building code must be robust

A reader calls for a more robust building code. Ravindranath K / The National
A reader calls for a more robust building code. Ravindranath K / The National

This country lacks a general building code and this can be observed in the poor situation many young buildings are in (Oversight the key to averting cladding fires, September 20). The country also has a very odd way of calculating and assessing insurance premiums. Investing in good actuarial work might do some good as well.

Troy Patrick, US

Removing and replacing the combustible cladding is one way of preventing fires. However, as long as people continue to smoke in high-rise buildings there’s always going to be risk of fires. Replacing cladding is not an overnight process, but banning smoking could be implemented overnight. For new buildings, it’s imperative that regulators and contractors work together to prevent substandard cladding from being installed.

Name withheld by request

A perfect way to build a modern society

The UAE is fast becoming an egalitarian society which is highly productive and inherently patriotic (Fifth batch of female national service recruits begin training, September 19). This is a perfect way to build a modern society.

Name withheld by request

How to learn about culture?

It’s easier to advise people to learn about local culture than to do it (Understanding local culture, September 19). If you work with local people it’s easy, but if your paths never cross then it’s a difficult task.

Marion McConnell, UK

It’s a shame that we all live parallel lives here but aside from a change in attitude on all sides I think it will remain that way.

Jeff Timson, Dubai

It would be certainly worthwhile to learn about Emirati culture and traditions. However, the majority culture in this country is South Asian, so it perhaps makes better sense for other expatriates to learn the cultural and social norms of the majority population.

I don’t intend to upset sensibilities, but it may be suggested that a working knowledge of Hindi/ Urdu would be more logical than learning Arabic and local cultural nuances.

Timothy John Holmes, Dubai

No formula for development

In reference to your article Science and arts are key to development, Sheikh Hazza tells pupils (September 19), I think there is no specific prescription for development.

We have plenty of artists and scientists. Have they been able to make this world a better place? We need more human beings who understand life, communication and interaction. Things that are not taught at school.

Aouse K Al Anee, Abu Dhabi

Little data to back IEA claim

Whether the International Energy Agency is correct or not about oil demand is hard to confirm, as it has not provided any figures to back up such a claim (Stalling oil market puts onus back on Saudi Arabia, September 16).

At the same time, data shows that China continues to buy oil to prop up its strategic reserves. However, the reason for the fall in demand is that China is shifting from heavy manufacturing and an export-driven economy to services, which require less energy.

India continues to have an insatiable demand for energy and will pick up where China has left off.

Even if Opec agrees to a production freeze, it may hold off any negative price impact. But a production freeze does not have the same impact as a production cut.

One of the main issues is inventory overhang, which is around 3 million barrels per day , so when added to the oversupply of 750,000 to 1m bpd, prices will remain weak at least until late 2017.

Inventory draw down coupled with a production freeze could see prices rebound into the $55-$60 mark next year. If so, look for shale producers to re-enter the market.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Published: September 20, 2016 04:00 AM

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