RTA announces naming rights of 10 Metro stations worth Dh1.8bn

Mattar Al Tayer (SUPPLIED)

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed yesterday that 10 of the metro stations have been awarded to the companies that participated in the international bid of the naming rights of Dubai metro stations.

Total proceeds raised from the bidding of the first batch of Dubai Metro Stations Naming Rights bid and funding deals for metro stations reached Dh1.804 billion, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said at a press conference.

"The initiative sets a new global benchmark in the field of naming rights and partnerships between public and private sectors," he said.

Announcing the firms that were selected for the first bid he said "at the top of the brands that met the selections criteria of Metro Naming rights and partnership with the RTA is Majid Al-Futtaim Group (Mall of the Emirates Station and Deira City Centre Station).

The list also includes Emirates Telecommunication Corporation (Etisalat Station), Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO Station) and Nakheel which got three stations – Nakheel Station, The Palm Deira Station and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station.

The other stations given on contract are Sharaf DG Station, First Gulf Bank Station and Dubai Airport Free Zone Station.

Of the 10 stations, seven are on the Red Line that will be operational in September 2009 and the other three on the proposed Green Line, which is expected to be complete and operational by March 2010.

All the companies that won the first batch of the bid are local with Nakheel making the largest contribution taking three of the 10 stations. Chris O'Donnell, CEO of Nakeeel, defined this gesture as "an investment in the future."

The amounts spent on the stations were not revealed. "The value of each station varies depending on its location, the passenger footfall and the visibility," said Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim, CEO of RTA Strategy and Corporate Governance. "Stations will obviously fetch an additional value if they are in the beginning or at the end of the line," added Ibrahim.

A source at the RTA also revealed that "there is no fixed time period for the awarded station names and in fact the deal varies for different stations."

Commenting on the response on the naming rights, Al Tayer said, "Dubai Metro Naming Rights initiative commanded huge attention of CEOs and senior marketing executives of leading local and global companies and brands, representing the first batch of companies joining Dubai Metro Naming Rights initiative.

"We witnessed remarkable enthusiasm from companies to be a part of this landmark project and the branding we are announcing today; which are the first companies partnering with Dubai Metro Stations Naming Rights," he told Emirates Business.

In addition, many of the stations will be built and financed by companies and organisations that include Dubai Holding, which will build six stations namely: Creek, Jaddaf, Emirates Towers, Dubai Health Care City, Tecom and Business Bay. The list also includes Emirates Airlines (Emirates Station, Emaar (Burj Dubai Station, and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (Jumeirah Lakes Towers).

"Like the RTA, these partners realise a shared vision that the Metro Naming Rights and Strategic Funding initiatives are long-term branding partnerships with unprecedented opportunities that will be at the very heart of Dubai's continued development as a world class destination," said Al Tayer.

RTA has maintained the names of stations located at the landmarks and historical locations such as Bani Yas Station without imposing commercial names. Similarly a number of stations carry the names of districts.

This was in tune with Dubai's 2015 strategic outlook that emphasises on retaining heritage and local identity.

The heritage design of Al-Ras Station and Al-Ghubaiba Station under the Green Line of Dubai Metro is inspired from the past, matching Dubai's rich heritage with the local history of the surrounding area.

The design of each station is based upon the architectural ingredients of traditional buildings such as wind towers, alleyways, oriels and internal arches while taking into consideration the aesthetic and technical values of those elements.

As a result the design of those stations will accordingly become a natural extension of old souks, Heritage and Diving Village, as well as old and contemporary control towers in the area. RTA has kept in place a stringent mechanism for controlling participating brands to prevent any overuse or excessive commercial manipulation.

RTA intends to allot 23 of the 47 stations to companies for commercial purpose and the remaining will be based on the heritage value of the local area.


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