I am writing in reference to the article Metro, taxis or your own car: what is the best option for the Dubai commute? (May 5).
The debate has been raging for years on how to bring people out of their cars and onto public transport.
The Government has been making efforts to make public transport popular in this country, but I think it will take time as the solution to this issue is not simple. First, people need solid reasons to take public transport. They should be cheaper, more convenient, comfortable and readily available in every nook of the country.
Dubai’s – and the UAE’s – public transport is not all that attractive yet, despite the fact that the country has almost every kind of transport: buses, metro, taxis, boats, and so on. Soon, there will be a tram service in Dubai. These are the fruits of generous investment. But planning has to go in tandem with investment.
For example, it may be relevant to think how convenient it will be for people who need to travel from one emirate to another every day, what kind of services and what frequency would be appropriate and what are the factors that discourage people from taking public transport.
Once these questions are answered, the Government can start building its plans slowly and steadily.
Name withheld by request
I am a subscriber of The National for the past five years and I really enjoy reading your newspaper everyday.
One of the recent features I enjoyed reading your package on transport in Dubai. I would like to congratulate the reporters for their excellent contribution to the package.
S Nagarajan, Dubai
Keep the lines of communication open with children
I know how devastated the family of Louis Smith was ('Our lovely boy's death must not be in vain', May 5). It is sad that as a society we fail to reach out to children and adults who silently suffer from depression and other issues. These people need help and do not deserve to have their lives cut short. It is very important for parents, as well as teachers, to develop a friendly and casual relationship with youngsters so that they can share their worries and concerns. Children should be encouraged to voice their problems instead of hiding them out of fear or escaping from them.
This young boy would have been alive today had we fulfilled our responsibilities as parents and community.
Fatima Suhail, Sharjah
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Louis Smith. Teenage years are all the more challenging for expatriates who have to face multiple reference points and realities as they figure out who they are and what makes them happy. It is good that The National is creating a space for dialogue.
Nathalie Kleinschmit, Dubai
World Cup timing poses a challenge
To avoid the summer heat, Qatar wants to shift the 2022 World Cup, which will create problems for western football leagues, as that will require national team players to be away from the home club for a month or even two months (Qatar shifts the goalposts on Fifa World Cup 2022 plans, May 1). Even a shutdown of European national leagues has recently been proposed.
The bigger problem will be accommodating hundreds of thousands of supporters, who will be coming to Qatar, if the Asian Games held in the country is any indicator. The rents for apartments will rise sharply from their current high and unsustainable levels.
Furthermore, should Israel qualify for the World Cup, visas and security will be a real problem.
I shall await to see how Saudi Arabia responds to such a possibility. As the country with one of the world’s highest-value sovereign funds, there should be no problem for Qatar to meet all its World Cup commitments, but the question is this: can it? Or will it?
Name withheld by request
Rallies were not banned in Turkey
I am responding to the news report Turkish police fire tear gas at May Day rallies (May 2).
I saw a violation of the principle of objectivity in this particular item. The caption of the picture of Turkish police firing water canon at protesters wearing gas masks and hard hats reads: “...demonstrations were banned across the country”. This is not true.
Demonstration is a right, and every Turkish citizen is entitled to it, provided they comply with the law. May Day celebrations were banned only in Taksim Square but a larger area was allocated to May Day celebrations.
There have been unpleasant incidents between police and the public at the venue, but in other corners of Istanbul, citizens observed May Day. Unlawful demonstrations are not tolerated by any country in the world.
Olgun Deveci, Abu Dhabi