Park and Ride plan will benefit all

A reader welcomes the Park and Ride initiative. Other topics: Middle East peace, restaurant ownership, Rahul Gandhi

A reader appreciates Abu Dhabi’s effort to encourage people to use public transport. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
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The Park and Ride project is a great idea (Park and Ride project to battle Abu Dhabi parking problems, January 19).

It’s already in practice in many US cities including Boston, which is near where I live.

The “free of charge” parking is a great feature too.

Americans are very attached to their cars so the programme here would be more successful if it were free, which I doubt will happen.

Name withheld by request

Mandatory military service a welcome move

I refer to the news report Mandatory military service for Emirati men (January 20). Preparing Emiratis to confront various situations and challenges would go a long way in building a strong foundation for the country that will be able to tackle every challenge boldly and fearlessly. The leaders of the UAE can be a role model for all Emiratis.

Shahina Afsar, Dubai

It’s a wonderful law. Actually we have the same law in Brazil and it works great. Both my father and my brother served in the military. For my brother it was a great experience and it changed him in many ways. He delayed his attendance to college, but he became more responsible, independent and learnt more about morals and values in life. He is still in touch with his colleagues from his military days.

Klaudja De Paula Boulter, Brazil

This will be a great motivation for youth and give them an opportunity to do something constructive during the time they have after completing high school and before entering university.

Lorien McDonnell Osborn, Dubai

This move will create a sense of patriotism among the people of the UAE, which is very good.

Ishmael Ibn Talib Khan, Poland

This is a great decision that will help young people to be healthy and disciplined. I wish countries like India could take similar decisions.

Shekhar Tupe, Dubai

For a peace loving nation that wishes to preserve this status, I think compulsory military service is a very good idea, especially as youth of today – not just here but worldwide – don’t really comprehend what it takes to preserve the sovereignty of one’s nation. Skills learnt through this exercise will also serve them well both in continuing their education once their service is complete and when they become operational members of the workforce. What a great initiative.

Ukhaggis Bhaji, Dubai

Peace will make region powerful

Although many countries in the Middle East are in chaos right now, I can see a silver lining and think that at the end there will be peace.

When the region finally achieves peace and co-operation between all tribes, religions and cultures, it will indeed become very powerful, like Europe.

I just wish everyone follows the great example set by the UAE.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

Restaurant owners face extra burdens

For our restaurant’s outside seating in Abu Dhabi, we had been paying approximately Dh5,000 per year – until the municipality was the leasing body.

After Mawaqif took it over, it started charging us more than Dh37,000 per year for the same space. On top of this, the insurance deposit has increased to Dh10,000 from Dh5,000.

For a small business like ours, it’s a burden that we may not be able to shoulder. I wonder whether there is any Government agency that could be approached to raise these issues.

Name withheld by request

Sonia’s decision on Rahul was wise

Sonia Gandhi was wise to refuse to give in to the pressure from Congress to nominate her son Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate (Sonia Gandhi refuses to bow to party pressure over Rahul PM nomination, January 18).

The scam-tainted Congress that led UPA coalition knows very well that it won’t be third time lucky in the forthcoming election. This vote is nevertheless crucial for the party because it offers it an opportunity to win over people’s confidence. Instead of hankering for power, Congress should do some soul-searching and capitalise on the moment to improve itself.

K Ragavan, India