Starbucks faces Indian competition

Letters also discuss families settling in the UAE, abandoned baby and other topics.

Starbucks will have a tough time penetrating the India market, one reader warns. Pawan Singh / The National
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I refer to the article Starbucks has to wake up and smell the coffee in India (February 5). I have had Starbucks coffee at international airports as well as in the UAE and the region. The taste is nowhere near the filter coffee or even the coffee at roadside hotels or coffee shops anywhere in south India.

Starbucks will have to rethink its coffee preparations a thousand times before they enter a coffee market like south India. As is stated in the article, the bulk of coffee is consumed within the house and very little outside. These issues are some of the points Starbucks is advised to note.

I may as well mention that international products like Sanyo, Panasonic, Knorr and other brands have bit the dust in India. The market may be huge, but it is a totally different cup of tea. That is India.

Faleye Ebenezer, India

Difficult decisions for spouses

It was interesting to read about the situations of spouses giving up careers to follow their partners, and how that has worked for the couples interviewed in Why the UAE works for our families (January 30).

One wonders how many stories there are in Abu Dhabi of a spouse who has not found enjoyment after following his or her mate to a new life here.

Name withheld upon request

Recycle beverage cans now

It's really shocking to see empty beverage cans lying on the roads, streets, parks and beaches. Why can't people just pick them up and drop them in designated bins?

Most people don't realise that aluminium is a 100 per cent recyclable material. Recycling just one aluminium beverage can will conserve enough energy to watch TV for three hours.

As a student member of the Emirates Environmental Group, I've learnt that recycling is an important part of a sustainable lifestyle. It's important for the future of our planet that we all live sustainably, so we must make the best use of our limited natural resources.

It is estimated that over 500 million beverage cans are sold every year in the UAE but 93 per cent of them are dumped or thrown away in the landfills.

They add up to the average 8,000 tonnes of municipal waste generated daily that affects our environment terribly.

The spectre is clear. We don't need to wait and see the day when our beautiful deserts are filled with rubbish.

So start collecting cans from your nearest groceries, marts, shops or schools and ask your neighbours, friends and classmates to do the same.

Let's spread this wonderful environmental awareness and start recycling now.

Drishya Dinesh, Dubai

Online video triggers debate

The article Gay cure viral video 'paints wrong picture' of UAE (February 3) opens up an enlightening discussion in the UAE, from the very conservative to the liberal views, on homosexuality that would otherwise never be conducted publicly in the mainstream media in the UAE.

Kudos to The National for covering this. This kind of discussion in the UAE is a healthy one because it's so hard to talk about publicly due to the conservative nature of the country which must be respected.

However, it's understandable that videos like this are made. I'd say that Emiratis and expatriates alike generally have a good understanding of the issues around homosexuality and UAE culture.

Jessica Swann, Dubai

I totally agree with the video about the gay cure. I don't mean to come off as being insensitive but I, and many Muslims, see homosexuality in a different light than as an issue of ethnicity, nationality or race.

Irfan Syed, Dubai

Touching story on abandoned baby

I read with tears in my eyes about the baby born with neurological disorders and epilepsy who was temporarily abandoned by his parents (Abandoned baby back with parents, February 7).

We can all sympathise with the fear these parents must feel for the seemingly impossible task of raising a child with special needs, and I was deeply touched by the people at Special Families Support who have offered their support.

There is always hope and I pray that this family will find the strength they need to provide the love and nurturing their son desperately needs.

L Scholz, Abu Dhabi