Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This is a worry...

The lead story in Emirates Business 24/7 today is about the RTA putting out to tender the rights to sell advertising on the Metro system.

In the story is some really worrying information that I haven't seen before.

"Apart from the main contract for advertising inside and outside the Metro cars, separate concessions will be awarded for advertising on the Metro viaduct, pillars and stations...The viaduct will have lights and bright advertising signs. The same applies to the concrete pillars that support the viaduct."

Oh great. Bright advertising signs all over everything, that'll be classy.

But that's not all:

"RTA will offer rights to use Metro stations to selected companies, government and private departments and institutions for design and colour of stations...Civil Aviation Authority of Dubai will design and build two stations near the airport.They will carry the authority’s name. Also BurJuman shopping centre has won a concession to design and build the BurJuman station, which will carry its name. Dubai Holding has got a station of its own as well...Among 42 stations RTA will offer only 23 stations for sponsorship by other companies and bodies, while the remaining stations will maintain their design, which should be in harmony with the national identity of the UAE."

'Only 23'? That's more than half the stations designed and decorated by sponsor companies. Will they be 'in harmony with the national identity of the UAE' or in harmony with the advertising of the prizes for getting the answer right.

Even in a country with a high standard of advertising creativity it would be appalling, but in Dubai I can't even begin to imagine how bad it's going to look.

The story's here.


Anonymous said...

Seabee, this could be done well and the RTA should have the benefit of the doubt. An airport owner designing a connecting train terminal may well ensure that it is designed for passengers with luggage, or who aren't fluent in Arabic or English. One designed by an enlightened shopping centre owner may see that it is well integrated into their development too, perhaps so that it is even easier to take the train than find a parking space. It can be done well. So many opportunities have been missed in Australia because such enlightening thinking hasn't been followed through with. So I think that this is an opportunity that the RTA is rightfully taking.

Seabee said...

You're an optimist, but I hope you're right :-)

i*maginate said...

Thing is what happens if the 'sponsor' changes their mind - it's not normal for the name of a station to change!

Seabee said...

i*maginate, that'll add to the fun. McDonald's Station, shaped like a double cheeseburger with red & yellow interior decor will be closed while the new sponsor demolishes it and rebuilds it in the shape of a giant cola bottle. It will then be renamed Coke Station.

i*maginate said...

Hehehehe. Was about to ellaborate with the same sentiments spesh with the coke thing - added bonus would obviously be free coke bottles at the ticket barriers, and depending on which culture presides in the train cabin you're in, a host of burps thereafter.

Twas late at night and left out the coke bit because I was feasting on Pizza Hut - perhaps another possible sponsor. Well, I was on the phone too. "Rings a bell" (luv the humour) - Etisalat could sponsor, installing freefones to dial up loved ones to inform them trains are on time.

Seabee said...

i*maginate we could have a whole lotta fun with this. It's almost worth a post asking people to suggest sponsors for the stations with their ideas of how each station would look and what it would be called...

Seabee said... the Etisalat Station you suggested. Get on the Metro there, where there would be no service, and you'd be charged huge amounts for very slow trains.

If tourists entered the station dressed in revealing clothing it would be closed due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values etc etc.

i*maginate said...

Seabee, there's no such thing as a free lunch. I think the fast-food chains could profit from this arrangement.

Any prolonged calls to international fast-food companies handled by regional telephone companies could be charged accordingly - don on a business hat, and we profiteerers could join hands in making a healthy profit. :)