‘Outdated’ liquor law needs change, standards do not

The liquor law for tourists needs updating, but the UAE's standards of tolerance should remain, a reader says. Other views: Emirati volunteers, Horrible Science series and motivating Emirati professionals.
Readers praise 15 Emiratis who experienced a day in the life of Dubai road cleaners. Photo: Nashama UAE Volunteers
Readers praise 15 Emiratis who experienced a day in the life of Dubai road cleaners. Photo: Nashama UAE Volunteers

Your editorial, Time for the UAE’s liquor law to catch up to reality (May 1), reflects the flaws of the liquor licensing law as it applies to tourists. Amending it would do no harm.

You don’t need alcohol to insult a religion – you can do it completely sober as well. Moreover, I’m not disagreeing with the fact that Kottak was insulting or that the law had to act.

My issue is with the licensing law, which I think is completely out of date and contrary to logic.

Amending it would help make these situations less of an issue and would improve our image as Arabs.

Wassim Ali, Abu Dhabi

I agree there is a definite need to review the alcohol laws. They do not make sense.

What Kottak did was culturally and socially unacceptable and would not be acceptable in any country. What Kottak displayed was an incredible lack of tolerance to other cultures and a complete lack of moral character.

However, I believe this is a social issue, rather than a criminal one. And as such, he should not have been jailed in the first place.

Instead, he should have been given a lifetime ban of ever visiting or even passing through the UAE in the future. That will mess up many of his future travels as the UAE serves as a central hub for many other destinations.

Theo Scheepers, Dubai

I have visited your country and was glad to enjoy your culture and laws on drinking, which I would be more than happy to see apply in my country.

I enjoyed the pleasure of walking along the equivalent of the high street without bad behaviour at every turn.

I only saw a few drunken people and, unlike those, I was happy to stand amongst the thousands of locals who showed us great respect and friendship.

I hope the UAE keeps its laws and its standards.

Paul Bona, UK

Volunteer day is a really good start

The subject of your story, Emirati volunteers become Dubai’s street cleaners for a day to mark Labour Day (May 1) is tremendous.

Too often, these cleaners have to work outside through the hottest months but are rarely shown respect or are thanked.

Most people don’t even make eye contact with them, smile or say hello. This is a good start.

Patricia Geiger, Abu Dhabi

This is a great initiative, although in some ways, the cleaners’ job is probably the easiest part.

When they’re done working for the day, they go home to their accommodation, living without the support of their families.

Volunteering to do their job is a great start but should go further. They should try to make their lives better.

Name withheld by request

‘Horrible’ series is a path to violence

I would like to respond to your April 29 editorial (The real horror story is not loving books) in which you celebrate the Horrible Science book series as educational.

To me, this is akin to promoting ice cream as a calcium source simply because kids enjoy its taste and avoid nutrition in any other form.

Like calories, books are not all equal in benefit. Humorously presented fictional accounts of violence and gore tend to be destructive in effect through gradual desensitisation to the point of indifference about actual violence.

It’s true that kids may revel in the sense of comfort that follows a so-called safe scare, but authors like Nick Arnold go well beyond the mere “vampires, ogres and monsters” your editorial mentioned.

Profit-hungry publishers and event organisers would have parents and children believe that horrifically gory entertainment is a sound invitation to learning and that scientific and historical trivia alone render a book educational.

Let us not be gullible, fellow parents, to the desensitising disservice and false education offered by such books.

Um Yusef, Al Ain

Rent rises putting squeeze on tenants

With regard to your article, No win situation for Abu Dhabi tenant given 105% rent hike (April 30), my observation is that prices are clearly bouncing back after the massive drops we saw after 2008.

Rents now are reflecting the market rate. Where rents have been artificially low for a period of time, they are in for a real shock.

Unfortunately I still remember the days – not that long ago – when Dh240,000 wouldn’t get you a two-bedroom partment in the Tourist Club.

Emma Boyle, Egypt

I am aware of companies that are having problems recruiting because of accommodation prices.

Expat professionals who are being offered jobs here are logging onto sites like Dubizzle and finding the housing allowance is less than the rents being charged.

Rhoda Chaouk, Abu Dhabi

Published: May 1, 2014 04:00 AM


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