Slow and steady wins the race

A reader praises the Great Gulf Turtle Race for helping to raise awareness of an environmental issue. Other letter topics: the dress code campaign, a strategy to reduce personal debt and the role of animals in our lives.

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Since the foundation of the UAE, life for Emiratis has mostly changed for the better, but there have been some negative changes. Borrowing money is one bad practice that is spreading, and it represents a real danger to society.

The negatives effects of borrowing can be very painful, affecting personal health and relationships. Debt can also lead to imprisonment and can affect the national economy. However, for every problem, there is a solution.

The UAE Government is doing many things to reduce indebtedness by constituting laws and regulations for banks and their clients.

In a meeting of the Federal National Council, the governor of the Central Bank admitted that some banks exaggerated interest rates and urged them to be more realistic on this issue.

The president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, has ordered the establishment of a fund to rearrange the distressed loans of Emirati. This extends his previous generosity in making payments for indebted Emiratis.

Despite the many initiatives by the Government, the debt issue won't go away unless solutions target citizens directly.

Launching educational campaigns may help individuals learn not to go into debt unless it is for a very important reason - and they are certain that they will pay the money back.

Obaidallah Elhassan, Abu Dhabi

Education the key to dress dilemma

Regarding Attempt to find the right fit (June 15) I stopped following the #UAEDressCode campaign on Twitter because I did not like what I was reading.

While I respect Emirati culture, I feel the campaign has opened a can of worms.

The UAE thrives on tourism and that industry will all but disappear if a law is brought into effect.

What needs to be done is simple: before tourists and visitors come to the UAE, they should be made aware that certain ways of dressing are frowned upon.

Visitors should be notified when booking a flight to the UAE so they are aware before they board their plane.

Not everyone can change their clothes after viewing an information video on their flight before landing.

Abdul Ismail, Abu Dhabi

I have a question for the reader who thinks it is a double standard for the UAE to introduce a "decent" dress code and yet allow shops to display revealing clothing: Where would she like the double standards to stop?

Maybe we should ban all TV programmes that show too much flesh or contain unsuitable language? Maybe censor all newspapers that print photographs of what some people may think are indecent images?

Just because a shop window is displaying an article of clothing that may not be deemed appropriate by some people, does not mean you have to buy that article and parade around in it.

It is just a little common sense and thought for others that is needed.

Roger Pettitt, Ras Al Khaimah

Slow and steady wins the race

I'd like to congratulate the Emirates Wildlife Society-Worldwide Fund for Nature on such a fantastic and worthwhile initiative as the Great Gulf Turtle Race (On your marks ..., June 13).

Members of The Club Abu Dhabi are really excited about helping raise awareness of the cause by sponsoring Turbo the turtle.

Laura Dunn, Abu Dhabi

Man's best friend proves his worth

Once again your columnist Rym Ghazal talks about real life in her column You might think me Daffy, but I'd rather spend time with a duck (June 14).

It reminded me of a quote from the naturalist Roger Caras: "Animals are not our whole life but they make our life whole."

In 2003, I found myself alone after my mother died in Winter Park, Florida, with Jingles, the family dog. At that point he was eight years old. I accepted a job in Abu Dhabi and Jingles followed a week later.

My first walks with him in downtown Abu Dhabi were a surprise. For the first time in my life walking a dog, I saw people making faces, saying "Haram" ("sinful") looking at Jingles with fear or dislike. But I soon moved to an apartment on the Corniche and began to revise my earlier impression.

On weekends, I would be greeted by groups of men who would ask to take photos of Jingles. Often small children, no taller than the dog, would come up boldly and start patting him. I am convinced that Jingles was an ambassador from the world of dogs to people who didn't have a pet when they were children.

Unfortunately, small animals don't live long. Jingles complemented my life for another four years, and then he was gone from liver disease. He was the best dog I ever had, but he won't be the last.

Alma Kadragic, Abu Dhabi