UAE’s traditions evolve, including who we marry

Readers discuss whether it matters who Emiratis marry. Other topics: school safety, Ajman prisons, remittance tax and utility prices.

Readers have their say on Khalid Al Ameri’s take on Emiratis marrying foreigners. Photo: Jeff Topping/The National
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Letters to the Editor

Khalid Al Ameri's opinion article in favour of Emiratis marrying who they want, In the UAE's marriage debate, we have to stop looking back to the past (December 22), makes strong and accurate points that should be considered by FNC.

Traditions will change – it is natural and part of human nature. The UAE has also embraced technology, which surely also impacts society and the family.

Dolores Basilio, US

I agree with all the points he makes in this article.

Everyone has their own choice so let the people do what they want and marry who they want. After all, marriage means an emotional and social bond between two souls.

Prem Kumar Limbu, Dubai

It is sad that this topic is raised every now and then. My five children are so-called “mixed products” and they have never felt the difference.

I am disappointed that foreign wives are often blamed for whatever problems occur in society. We need to evolve, keep our identity, and be proud of who we are. In the end, we are humans too.

Mona Al Qemzi, Dubai

Course ensures schools are safe

In reference to your story, Child abuse training for school personnel (December 17), I attended this training programme last year in Abu Dhabi and it was excellent.

As a result we updated our school’s child protection policy and the staff underwent training sessions.

Sylvia Al Hazmi, Dubai

We started this project last year and with Abu Dhabi Education Council’s participation, it has grown rapidly into this programe.

This is an important move – but even more is needed.

Faisal AlShimmari, Abu Dhabi

There also needs to be a programme for teachers who think it is still acceptable to use corporal punishment.

Amirah William, Umm Al Qawain

Praise for Ajman reform initiative

Rehab programme for Ajman inmates (December 19) is a great initiative and I hope they keep it up.

Prison is never an easy experience, for many reasons. Psychological counselling would definitely have a positive effect, creating a better future through training and rehabilitation.

Salma Farid, Dubai

India’s ‘illogical’ remittance tax

India has always been a land of complete contradictions, and the new tax on expatriate Indians’ remittances only confirms this.

The Indian government provides so much help – cash incentives, tax refunds, duty-free facilities etc – to promote the already-rich export sector to help the inflow of foreign funds.

On the other hand, the government now wants to tax labourers and maids simply for sending their money home to needy family members. All of us non-resident Indians will be taxed almost 13 percent on the service fees of our remittances.

This new proposal is not only greedy, it is also completely illogical. The tax may not directly affect all of us, but we must consider the plight of the blue collar workers in our midst.

Name withheld by request

Utility prices rise, but will salaries?

With regard to your article, New Abu Dhabi utility fees posted online (December 20), our electricity bill is going up by 40 per cent and my water bill by 170 per cent.

This is expected to increase our yearly bills by roughly Dh3,700 – £616 or US$1,013.

We love the UAE but we will be hoping my employer provides a 105 per cent increase in the utilities part of our salary next year.

Name withheld by request

The prices went up because the very low water and electriciy rates meant many people wasted far too much water and energy.

Now that people have to pay more for power and water, they might use less.

It is always the same: people do not really care about anything until it hits their purse or wallet.

The next step should be for everyone to pay for the millions of plastic bags used every week in the UAE’s shopping malls.

If everyone had to pay a dirham for every plastic bag, people might finally start taking shopping bags with them.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

This is large increase for expatriates. We will be paying top dirham for utilities.

Karen Kunkle Christian, Abu Dhabi