In reference to the article Dubai bijou hotel is forced to close (January 23), I am very surprised that Dubai Municipality closed down the boutique hotel, La Maison d'Hotes, since Dubai wants to be a big international tourist attraction. They must understand that it's good to have a mixture of price range and class of hotels. The boutique hotel looked very nice, much better than those big glass skyscrapers.
La Maison d'Hotes was doing no harm to the street it lived on. What's wrong with a small, pleasant hotel being in a residential area? Small hotels are in residential areas in other countries all over the world. The two owners of La Maison d'Hotes spent so much money on their hotel. Although they sold the hotel's furniture, they did not get all their money back. It is very sad that La Maison d'Hotes had to close down as it was doing very well. I hope Dubai Municipality will change their minds. Samira Ali, Age 10, Abu Dhabi
I was very sad to read that La Maison d'Hotes was forced to close down. This little guesthouse provided a space where I enjoyed a quiet understated style and elegance. The French understand this elegance so well, and the owners were always personally involved in the greeting of guests and booking of table reservations. In contrast to the glitzy hotels that proliferate in Dubai, this little hotel was a haven for artists, writers, poets and thinkers. The UAE needs to focus on opening more of these little hotels. At present we have the flashy hotels on the seafront and then the seedy hotels in the heart of Deira and Ghusais. We need more of what this little hotel represented. Nargis Raza, Dubai
In contrast to the page one story Small firms help UAE defy world downturn (January 24), pages two and seven tell the story of how increasingly difficult it is for small businesses to succeed in the face of bureaucracy as shown by the closure notice served on a first-rate boutique hotel in Dubai and the red tape confronting an Emirati fast food entrepreneur. Then I read the article in your business section Orion fall linked to $20m loss on trades (January 24) about the failure of yet another large business. Is it not time that the authorities began to understand the relative value of small and medium sized enterprises to our distressed market? As a small business operator myself, I can attest to the fact that this news has evidently not percolated down to the bureaucrats on the front line. Let's stimulate the economy, not stifle it at birth. John Deykin, Dubai
The article Police go undercover to tackle tailgating (January 24) focuses on one aspect of commuting, especially on the highways. But there have been many instances when we have to deal with road-hoggers. These drivers hog the fast lanes, are busy on their Blackberries and refuse to move over. Their defiance and ignorance induce road rage which starts to manifest itself with flashing lights and tailgating. Then it becomes a big boy's dangerous game of "Move over!" "I'm not moving over!"
Almost everything else apart from driving is done in a sedate manner in this country, yet the love for speed and the attitude of being invincible has seen tragic repercussions. It's the high fliers of the highway versus the road-hogger with mobile phone in motion and his mind a million miles away from his driving. You add this dangerous mix and serve up tragedy. It is sad and pointless to see strangers rushing up together to a scene of an accident to help a fellow motorist when this civic mindedness could have been used to avoid such tragedies in the first place - by practising safe driving. SS Uma, Abu Dhabi
I am glad to read the continuous stream of letters regarding the poor driving standards in Abu Dhabi. It is an important problem that needs to be addressed. The speed limit in Abu Dhabi is 60kpm. This is the maximum speed at which anyone should drive. However, when I try to maintain the speed limit, I am run off the road and accused of driving "too slowly". It is especially terrifying when I am in the left lane preparing to turn left. I am frequently overtaken by impatient, speeding drivers who cut me off at the turn. Driving "too slowly" is only a perception about those of us who try to obey the law. Maggie Hannan, Abu Dhabi
The article The slow growth of the office nursery (January 23) described new nurseries for government workers. How about the private sector? I had to quit my job to be with my baby because I knew I just wouldn't be doing justice to either. I would love to continue working too and knowing that my baby is close by would be a blessing. Lubna Z, Sharjah