Readers debate the reach of a new smoking ban. Ryan Carter / The National
Readers debate the reach of a new smoking ban. Ryan Carter / The National

Science shows that smoking remains harmful

Regarding your report on smoking (Smoking ban 'needs to go much further', UAE health experts say July 10), second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.
The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (or poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals, typically those at the high end of contact, are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one. Put simply, smoking kills and this ban should go further to protect society.
Daniel Hammond, Dubai
There are steps being taken in Saudi Arabia to curb smoking. Dozens of coffee shops have been closed down by Jeddah municipalities for violating the ban on smoking in public places that was issued three months ago.
The city is enforcing the ban and will not tolerate those who break the law. Hundreds of inspectors have been carrying out daily checks in the city's 14 municipalities.
Several coffee shops and cafeterias were officially warned and fined. The warning is final and if an establishment does not comply within a week, it will be closed.
There are hundreds of coffee shops and cafeterias licensed to serve shisha and allow smoking. Authorities have called on the public to cooperate with municipalities and report violations.
All whistle-blowers shall remain anonymous. There should be a similar system created here. So that we can stop this problem once and for all.
Name withheld by request
Difference in work ethics
I am writing about Rym Ghazal's recent column about the role of foreigners and their effect on our work mentality (Does this region suffer from the foreigner complex? July 13).
The problem that I have noticed is the difference in work ethic between people of different backgrounds that come here to earn a living. This difference can result in some people overworking while others don't work hard enough. Overwork and underpay can affect a healthy economy and this issue should be better identified.
Sam Mohammed, Abu Dhabi
Brexit will help the UK economy
I am writing about your recent business report on the state of the economy (The next financial storm isn't coming - it's already upon us, July 11). It seems to me that journalists and bankers are similar because they are both spreading fear about the health of the economy. The Brexit debate is a perfect example.
Britain can be great again and that will never happen under the current business-as-usual European Union federalism.
The United Kingdom experienced a trade deficit for two consecutive years. What more evidence is needed that EU needs the UK more than it needs the EU?
The big business conglomerates and the banks will not like the departure but average citizens will in the long run.
The road will be bumpy in the short-term but that should not halt the UK's resolve to explore new markets. The EU will be reduced to 440 million people but India has over a 1 billion people and Nigeria has 250 million. The UK should explore again and revamp its commonwealth of nations.
D Oremso, UK
Some people help cats
I found your report on cats in Abu Dhabi very stimulating (Pet cats in Abu Dhabi being rounded up by pest control companies, vet says, July 12). Some people serve as guardians to neighbourhood cats. They can't take the cats in, but they love them and take care of them, and the cats come to depend on them. Everyone has different circumstances. Trap, neuter and release can be good but killing the cats is not.
Name withheld by request


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded


Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Name: Dooda Solutions
Based: Lebanon
Founder: Nada Ghanem
Sector: AgriTech
Total funding: $300,000 in equity-free funding
Number of employees: 11

The biog

Favourite book: You Are the Placebo – Making your mind matter, by Dr Joe Dispenza

Hobby: Running and watching Welsh rugby

Travel destination: Cyprus in the summer

Life goals: To be an aspirational and passionate University educator, enjoy life, be healthy and be the best dad possible.

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 582bhp

Torque: 730Nm

Price: Dh649,000

On sale: now 


Wolves 0

Aston Villa 1 (El Ghazi 90+4' pen)

Red cards: Joao Moutinho (Wolves); Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Man of the match: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa)

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


Director: Brandt Andersen
Starring: Omar Sy, Jason Beghe, Angeliki Papoulia
Rating: 4/5

Three ways to boost your credit score

Marwan Lutfi says the core fundamentals that drive better payment behaviour and can improve your credit score are:

1. Make sure you make your payments on time;

2. Limit the number of products you borrow on: the more loans and credit cards you have, the more it will affect your credit score;

3. Don't max out all your debts: how much you maximise those credit facilities will have an impact. If you have five credit cards and utilise 90 per cent of that credit, it will negatively affect your score.


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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