Praise for Abu Dhabi food safety inspections

'Several roaches were crawling amongst the croissants and other bakery items. The manager didn't seem to care. His answer was: "They're flies, not roaches."'

January 1, 2009 / Abu Dhabi / (Rich-Joseph Facun / The National) Two boys ride past a sculpture at the Corniche , Friday, January 1, 2010 in Abu Dhabi.  The installation was designed and built by Trompe L ( *** Local Caption ***  ns01ja-thing.jpg
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In reference to the article Food safety inspections steam ahead (January 18), hopefully the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority will be checking out cafes and restaurants at the higher end. I was in a cafe upstairs at an upmarket department store on Friday morning. Several roaches were crawling amongst the croissants and other bakery items. I phoned the manager, but he didn't seem to care. His answer was: "They're flies, not roaches."

For one, they were roaches, I'm not blind, and even if they had been flies, does that make it better? I've been to several restaurants in Abu Dhabi in the last few months where roaches were crawling in the salad areas. Absolutely disgusting. I don't suppose the Authority can be everywhere, but I for one congratulate them for taking a hard stand on these issues and hope they do the inspections more often. They should do them secretly. They'd be more than surprised to see how many places are not complying with the rules. Chris M, Abu Dhabi

I refer to Fraudsters target Etisalat mobile users (January 16). One more racket is still in the loop. Someone called me today with an unidentified number (unknown caller) and he claimed that I had won a lottery. He first spoke in Arabic after which I told him I don't understand Arabic. Straight away he told me in English that I had won the lottery and if I was to claim the award, I had to pay $533. I have not registered in any lottery. He asked me to read the last digits of my credit card to which I answered that I would pay in cash and asked him where he was calling from and why I could not see his number on my screen.

Little did I know that this happened to three people in my same flat block and one lost close to Dh5,000 off his credit card. Is there a way Etisalat can track the calls? It would be easy to trap these fellows who are so annoying. Paul Osoo, Abu Dhabi

I am very thankful to the reporter Matt Kwong who wrote the article making people aware of the phone scam. I highly appreciate the work done by him. I cannot get my money back, but I hope other people will not be the victims of such fraudsters. Also I read the news article Sharjah Police arrest five in scam (January 17) and I am hoping that the fraudster is one of them. Thanks to The National newspaper and your great reporters. Prabhjot Kaur Verma, Dubai

With reference to Ministry faults slow driving by women (January 16), there certainly are frequent instances of vehicles driving too slow for the actual traffic situation. But women are not the slow drivers - quite the opposite actually. The ladies are usually very smart and safe drivers. In my observation, the group of motorists who are driving slow are the male drivers of pickup trucks, minibuses and delivery vans who are obviously scared of fines, driving slowly, interrupting traffic flow, and thus causing "moving danger spots". Name Withheld by Request

I am a woman who obtained my driver's licence in Canada in 1983 after mastering an intensive defensive driving course, which I credit for keeping me accident-free in the GCC. People who drive too slowly in the middle and left lanes create problems by forcing faster drivers to make more lane changes - many of them unsafely on the right side of other vehicles. Of much greater concern are those who wander aimlessly, using their mobile phones without a hands-free set, or eating, bouncing children on their laps or being otherwise distracted. But the vast majority are men. Likewise those who don't plan ahead and cut across multiple lanes, jump into moving queues or reverse on busy roads after missing their turn rather than continuing on safely and returning to their destinations. The UAE should look to the Australian model to motivate drivers to use a hands-free set while driving - or risk stiff fines and prison terms. I am pleased to see more police on the roads and hope they will aggressively target unsafe drivers of all races, age and gender. Elan Fabbri, Dubai

In reference to the article Mystery dome on Corniche has beachgoers guessing (January 2), I would like to thank everyone who commented on my sculpture. I am so glad to read these critiques. The Nest or The Dome is an abstract sculpture and was launched on January 1. The sculpture was inspired by the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates coming together in an abstract wooden sculpture in the shape of a nest. The sculpture is designed above a painted earth map in a scale bigger then 10 metres as a metaphor demonstrating the strength and the unity of this country. Each piece of wood is a muscle, a hand or a person connecting to build this developing nation.

Pierre Abboud, Dubai