Sarah Davison's excellent article on the sad state of Indian higher education (Education dispute is threat to India's future, February 9) should be a clue to UAE policy makers seeking to jump-start a robust, technology-based economy. Who's to say the UAE cannot offer full university scholarships to the absolute best and brightest Indian minds of that neglected 93 per cent desiring to go to college? There should be a focus on maths and science and further targeted incentives to stay in the UAE and create start-up technology companies.
Given what is known about India's notorious bureaucracy, this gigantic problem of limited university education will not be going away anytime soon. The old saying: "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good", certainly applies here. If the UAE wants to create a dynamic, technology-based, prosperous entrepreneurial sector that generously employs its citizens in a competitive global economy, this is one big way to get it started. William T Sellers, US
In reference to the article ADIB to look at foreign investment (February 9), it is true that foreign investments play a huge role in the development of a nation's economy. But that comes with strings attached. The strings demand absolute transparency, disclosure norms, an entry and exit policy, a role in management and administration, and a position in case of legal action against the board of directors. The current statutes in force are certainly one-sided and jurisprudence has yet to catch up with real world judicial systems. It will be a tall order to expect foreign investors to rush in merely because the cap is removed. Dr KB Vijayakumar, Dubai
In reference to Trapped street cats face a quick death (February 7), thank you so much for this article. Our own cat, who sometimes stayed outside overnight and roamed the neighbourhood, disappeared in early December.
We were so confused, as we all know that cats are territorial, especially when they know where to go for food, and we couldn't understand why he didn't return. We didn't even know they were collecting cats. We never put a collar on him, as we thought he was safe and were afraid he might get hurt because of it. I can't believe there were no warnings put up that the cats were to be collected or we would have kept him inside. I think about our little guy every single day and miss him like crazy. I'm so angry. Name Withheld by Request
In reference to the article Smoking ban: 'We need more time" (February 7): it's simple - smoking should be banned in public places, including malls, cafes, restaurants and bars. It's not rocket science. Other countries have done so, and it was welcomed even by smokers after only a couple of months because it cut down on their smoking, meaning better health and less spending.
The weather here is fantastic. There's no reason they can't smoke outside. Countries like the US and Canada, where indoor smoking was banned years ago, have pretty cold winters. Smokers will stand in the snow and rain. But at least they would not have to put up with bad weather here. Summer's hot, OK, but then they could have their lungs cleared out by the humidity and heat. Chris M, Abu Dhabi
Marten Youssef's opinion article Repeat it until you believe it: the UAE is my home (February 8) described how he and his wife established their marriage in Abu Dhabi. But his story is not a usual one. So I believe this is does not really depict an expatriate's life. Most people do not have a Canadian passport or a very high salary to rent a comfortable flat, especially in Abu Dhabi. The average family really has a tougher time with high expenses, school fees and house rents. This is not to complain but simply to say that if you want to live here, plan well and be ready sacrifice some luxuries that are available back home. Fahim ul Rehman, Abu Dhabi
I recently spent two weeks in Abu Dhabi staying with my son and I was most impressed with The National. I read it from cover to cover and I really enjoyed finding out more about the UAE. The standard of writing is excellent, and I also thought the overall news coverage very extensive and well thought out. Great paper. Dian Bell, Abu Dhabi