Opinion 2012

Reader pictures of the week – Gulf News

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Reflections Ramesh Menon took this photograph while on vacation in Kerala, India. He said: “Looking at the reflection of nature on a rainy day gave me a nostalgic feeling. I knew that what I was seeing was momentary as I was coming back to sunny UAE soon.

Clicks and Writes at 7daysinabudhabi.com

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‘Abandoned’ Cars gather dust at Abu Dhabi airport

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ABU DHABI // Scores of luxury cars and sports utility vehicles are gathering dust in the short-term car park at Abu Dhabi airport.
According to the airport’s website, vehicles should be left there for no more than three days. And few would choose to with parking costing Dh240 a day.

But many of the cars have clearly been there for months – long enough for tyres to go flat and windows to become caked with sand and salt.

Beneath the grime, the marques are a checklist of luxury – BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, a Chevrolet Camaro S5 and a Jaguar XK8.

Also accumulating dust are sport utility vehicles such as a Nissan Prado, a Ford Escape, a Ford Edge and a Chevrolet Avalanche.

Others include a Kia Optima, Kia Rio, Honda Civic, Honda City, Nissan Altima and Nissan Tiida, Mazda 3, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, and a Peugeot 207.

“I’ve seen a few cars here that are covered with dust,” said MT Hassan, a Sudanese public relations officer.

“Maybe some of the owners will return, while others may have already left the country. We really don’t know.”

Ramesh Menon, 45, a technical officer at an Abu Dhabi government company, suspects the latter.

He visited the airport in mid-July. When he returned this week, the same cars remained parked.

“If there is a genuine owner who has parked there by mistake, he or she will claim it,” Mr Menon said. “If it is deliberate, the car should be auctioned off to the public.”

The flat tyres are a giveaway, he added. “Abu Dhabi airport has tight security measures. I don’t think someone will go to the car park and puncture the tyres.”

As on dirty cars everywhere, passers-by have inscribed messages in the dust. Some, including a black Ford Edge Sport and a white Honda Civic, bear the time-honoured “clean me”, while the rear windscreen of a blue-green Hyundai Tucson claims its owner has “gone fishing”.

A check on some of the number plates through the police website reveals the cars have a number of traffic and Salik fines.

One, a black Jaguar XK8 with Abu Dhabi plates, has accumulated Dh1,350 in fines – two for speeding in Abu Dhabi in June and July, and another for speeding in Dubai in May.

A grey Nissan Altima with Abu Dhabi plates had five Dubai police fines totalling Dh3,100 between December 2010 and April 2011.

A green BMW saloon, also with Abu Dhabi plates, had two Dubai fines from October 2009, and another from April 2010, totalling Dh1,900. A Kia Optima had a Dh100 fine from Oman, while a Kia Rio racked up nine Salik fines, totalling Dh450, between November 2009 and February 2010. Both cars have Dubai plates.

“The authorities should now consider removing them to allow other cars to park in this area meant for short-term parking,” Mr Menon said. “These cars are eating up a lot of space and it gives a bad image to the city.”
A spokesperson for the Abu Dhabi Airports Company yesterday declined to comment.

Several cars sit covered in dust, seemingly abandoned at the Abu Dhabi Airport short-term parking lot as seen on Wednesday afternoon, August 1, 2012. Silvia Razgova / The National

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online

Abandoned cars send a message

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Abandoned cars send a message

I recently visited Abu Dhabi International Airport’s short-term car park and was shocked to see many cars there completely covered in dust.
Some of them had punctured tyres and the dust was inscribed with graffiti, so I guessed that they had been there for a long time. This was confirmed when I visited 10 days later and the same vehicles were still there.
I am not sure whether these are cars parked in the wrong place by travellers who are on long holidays or they have been abandoned by people who have left the country for good.
Graffiti on one of them saying “Gone fishing” made me think the latter might be the case.
I hope the relevant authorities at the airport can remove these vehicles, as they provide an unpleasant sight for visitors.
With several key events scheduled to happen immediately after Ramadan, this is one thing the authorities should take into consideration in their efforts to continue to keep the city neat and clean.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

Highway facilities require attention

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Highway facilities require attention
There is a serious lack of clean toilets at the highway petrol stations between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Even in the existing, limited number of toilets, hygiene needs seem to have been neglected.
Visit one on any given busy evening or morning, and it’s obvious that these toilets are not as well-maintained or cleaned as they should be.
Bear in mind that these are international roads connecting to bordering countries, and that children will need to use them.
I hope the petrol stations and health authorities initiate measures to address this issue.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit The National online.

Hungry Drivers

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Hungry drivers
This year being one of the hottest and longest Ramadan days, it is a matter of concern for all who are on the road right before iftar. On the first day of Ramadan, I happened to witness and experience at least three near-accidents in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah roads. This is really dangerous and I hope that no one gets hurt. Could the relevant authorities come out with clear guidelines, stricter rules and fines to those who drive extremely fast?
From Mr Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online.

You may please read the below article and actions which followed the above report:

Police warn motorists to drive safely — especially before iftar

Message of safety for Holy Month

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Message of safety for Holy Month
The Holy Month of Ramadan is underway and with it comes renewed worries over road safety.
This year will be one of the hottest and longest Ramadan fasting periods in recent memory; it is a matter of concern for all who are on the road during the period just before breaking the fast.
On the first day of Ramadan, I happened to witness and experience at least three near misses on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
Watching these dangerous driving habits made me think that it would be helpful for authorities to come out with stricter rules and fines for those who drive dangerously prior to iftar.
In addition, it would be a great move if warnings and messages about the dangers of speeding during this time were made at various iftar tents and prayer halls around the country. It would also be appropriate for religious scholars to offer messages about the dangers of careless driving.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit The National Online.

You may also read the below article and actions which followed the above article:

Dubai police report 3,605 traffic accidents since start of Ramadan