Dubai’s history is as worthy as the shopping malls

Readers discuss whether Dubai's historic areas deserve to be promoted alongside its modern attributes. Other topics: working hours, Ramadan charity, tailgating distance and Arabian Ranches security.

Readers favour promoting Dubai’s historic sites as well as its shopping malls. Paulo Vecina / The National
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I agree with the premise of your story, Promote Dubai's history and culture instead of beaches and malls, experts say (July 6).

When I lived in Dubai, the lack of evident culture was the biggest complaint of friends who visited or who worked there.

Most people don’t want to go to the equivalent of a shopping mall – that’s available almost everywhere.

Instead the local boating scene should be showcased, there should be more local street art fairs and traditional music ought to be promoted and small “mom and pop” style businesses ought to be encouraged.

Kelly Kaufmann, US

Very good points – history needs to be brought alive.

Chris Reid, Dubai

Working smart all year round

Your editorial comparing the fewer hours the average person works in Germany compared to Greece raises an important point (Working harder isn't always smart, July 6).

The mantra should be to work smarter, not harder. It’s about productivity, not the number of hours.

Mathew Litty, Dubai

It has been proven that longer hours definitely doesn’t help increase productivity.

But the problem is trying to change the minds of some managers and supervisors who believe and work their employees too hard.

Susie Bellamys, Abu Dhabi

Student finds a Ramadan goal

On the first weekend of Ramadan, my family was invited for iftar buffet and a few minutes before the Maghreb azan, I was shocked to see people overfilling their plates.

When we are breaking our fast it is obvious that we have a craving to eat all sorts of food. I also saw some people wasting food by leaving full plates so they could try other dishes.

One table of eight at the iftar I attended left behind enough food to comfortably feed 10 people. Because of this, lots of food is wasted every Ramadan.

Many of my family friends want to give iftar packets to the needy but some are too busy. So I arranged to get their contribution and to organise 40 servings of biryani, which we gave to workers near Madinat Zayed shopping centre.

I am sure that many teenagers like me, who have a lot of spare time because of the summer holidays, can do this kind of voluntary act by working with people who don’t have the time.

Firdous Mohammed Farooq, Abu Dhabi

Five metres is still not enough

With regard to your story, Tailgaters in Dubai defy fines as radar cameras fire up (July 3), I am surprised and shocked that any driver would consider a five meter gap adequate safe spacing in traffic moving at 80kph.

That speed is about 22 metres per second, equivalent to about four car lengths. Most people take at least a second to react, so in the time a driver sees the brake lights of the vehicle in front come on and reacts by hitting the brake pedal, it is inevitably already too late.

Fines for tailgating should start if the distance between vehicles in less than one car length for each 10 kph. As the UAE advisory says, a three second gap indicates a minimum safe distance.

Peter Dixon, Dubai

Secure entry for Arabian Ranches

With regard to your article, Arabian Ranches residents fearful after spate of burglaries (July 4), I am an owner-occupier in the Arabian Ranches.

For the most part, people here are happy with the services and the community, but security is an area of concern. There have been more break-ins than have been reported.

We can’t blame the guards at the gates – all they can do is record licence plate numbers and ask where the drivers are going. Anyone can – and some do – lie about their destination in order to gain access.

In 2010/2011, the Dubai Police approved a pilot programme in which residents would use automated gates with a Salik-like identifier, while guests would use separate gates, all captured through a camera linked to the Dubai Police control room to monitor for known criminals.

The owners’ association approved the measure and we were willing to pay additional fees but it never materialised.

Given the thousands each of us spends on annual service fees in Arabian Ranches – and they increased by 43 per cent this year – don’t we deserve a better system, and especially one that may have already been approved by the authorities?

Name withheld by request