How much did Burjuman have to pay for its own metro station?
After falling out of agreement to pay up three years ago, the mall will finally be lending its name to the metro station. But will placing a subliminal link between the station and the mall translate into higher sales for retailers in a somewhat dying mall?
November 13, 2012 6:18 by Eva Fernandes
After years of being subjected to the painful pronunciations of ‘Khalid Walid’ and ‘Halid bin Al Waleeeed’ metro passengers will now reach a more easily recognised BurJuman metro station. Earlier this week, the RTA announced the renaming of two of its stations: Jebel Ali station is to be renamed Danube and the busiest and most crowded station, Khalid bin Al Waleed will now be called Burjuman.
Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO Rail Agency, Roads and Transport Authority Dubai (RTA) told The National the renaming is in keeping with the metro’s imitative to encourage corporate endorsement of the metro: “It contributes to increasing the national and international companies’ brand awareness and reinforces their positioning in Dubai, besides playing a bigger and more prominent role in upgrading the metro project.”
That is all very well, but Kipp can’t but help notice a decided departure from the RTA’s stance on naming as per the pre-recession times.
“(We have) clear instructions to give the main stations national names which reflect the national identity…Secondary stations will be named after companies. This is a national project and national identity is a very important factor for us but that does not prevent us from using some of these stations to finance the metro project” RTA chairman Mattar al Tayer was quoted as saying back in 2008.
Which is a fair point-financing is important for the Dh15 billion investment that is the Dubai Metro. Kipp can’t help but wonder how much the retail outlet had to pay for the renaming? Let us not forget Burjuman failed to reach an agreement with the RTA three years ago when the metro was set to launch its red line in 2009. Though an official statement wasn’t released about the decision to switch the name of the station to Khalid Bin Waleed Station in 2009—a senior official at the RTA hinted at Burjuman’s resistance to pay such a large sum to name the metro station.
After all, the minimum price starts at Dh6 million a year, with Etisalat paying Dh135 million for its station in Al Qusais on the Green Line for ten years to come. Of course, the busier the station the higher the prices are expected to go-which makes Kipp wonder, just how much did Burjuman have to pay for the renaming of this station? And will placing a subliminal link between the station and the mall translate into higher sales for retailers in a somewhat dying mall? Only time will tell.