Branding the Dubai Metro
The RTA has just announced the new names of some of the Dubai Metro stations. What do you think about them?
December 23, 2008 10:59 by Aarti Nagraj
Imagine this: you’re at the Dubai Metro ticket counter and you say:
“One ticket for the Nakheel station please.”
The attendant responds: “Is it just the Nakheel station or the Nakheel Harbour and Tower station?”
“Aren’t they the same station?” you ask. No, they’re not.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has just announced the first batch of winning companies in the international bid of the naming rights of Dubai Metro stations. Here are a few names you will have to get accustomed to soon:
Mall of the Emirates station, Deira City Centre station, Etisalat station, GGICO (Gulf General Investment Company) station, Sharaf DG station, First Gulf Bank station, Nakheel station, The Palm Deira station and Nakheel Harbour and Tower station and the Dubai Airport Free Zone station.
The RTA has said that it will maintain the names of stations located at landmark and historical locations such as Bani Yas station, Al-Ras station and Al-Ghubaiba station.
The bidding from the first batch raised AED1.8 billion, and according to the RTA, the money will be used to improve public transport services in the emirate.
A first by any government worldwide, the initiative created a flurry when it was announced. And the authorities say allowing companies to bid for the stations’ names is a great way to raise funds for the expansion of the public project.
But it also brings to question why no other government carried it out before. While it is possible that some may not even have got the idea, it is also true that having stations named after the location makes it easy not only for the city residents, but also for tourists who visit.
Is this sort of branding a bit too much? Or does it present a public-private model that should be emulated across the world?