Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An April Fool joke?

It's April 1st, so stories in the media should be treated with a little more scepticism than usual.

The story that has me wondering is this - Gulf News' headline sums it up well:

"Metro stations and lines open for corporate branding".

I can't decide whether it's true or a send-up.

On the one hand, which suggests it's true, I posted about it back in February when it was first announced. And yesterday it appeared again in Gulf News.

On the other, which makes it suspect, the story appears today, April 1st, in both Gulf News and EmBiz247 newspapers but I can't find them on their respective websites. That means, of course, that the stories could have been pulled.

If it's a hoax it's elaborate, time-consuming and Very Important People are involved.

What the hard-copy stories are saying is that 23 Metro stations and two lines are being offered for corporate branding, available for a minimum of ten years. There is selection criteria, naturally.

This could add much-needed style, elegance and class to Dubai's overall look you know.

We have plenty of examples in Australia, which could give ideas to corporate sponsors.

In Australia we have 'bigs' - all kinds of businesses, towns even, have built very large fibreglass 'bigs' to promote themselves.

In the banana-growing area of Coffs Harbour, for example, we have...The Big Banana:

It's the main entrance to a banana plantation and is part of the retail section which sells all kinds of stuff with a banana theme.

That could be an idea for Spinney Station perhaps. They meet the criteria laid down for sponsorship.

Then up in Queensland there's...the Big Pineapple:

Same deal - part of the entrance and retail section of a pineapple plantation.

Maybe that could be a thought for Choitram Station. They also meet the criteria.

There are many other role models our local companies could check on for ideas. I particularly like the very stylish and elegant Big Prawn...

The green and red Metro lines are available for naming rights, the story says. That presumably would be a hefty amount, so very large international companies would be the likely sponsors.

We could soon be travelling on the Coco-Cola Line, changing at Choitram Station to get onto the MacDonald Line to travel on to Masafi Water Station.

I can't wait.


nzm said...

We could soon be travelling on the Coco-Cola Line, changing at Choitram Station to get onto the MacDonald Line to travel on to Masafi Water Station.

Hey - that's not at all different from the street directions that we now have to get around Dubai!

Seabee said...

Very true - less confusing too than the 'system' they've been introducing of numbers for everywhere. Like District 123, building 321, street 12a. The same numbers repeated endlessly for each district, so there are hundreds of 12a streets all over the city.

i*maginate said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL I love it when you're sarcastic...am giggling big-time! Absolutely hilarious - but you're going to be giving Masafi, Choitrams, Spinneys and McDonalds ideas...lol

Umar in Dubai said...

i dont even want to think about the possible "bigs" in dubai

alexander said...

Inspirational. I'd never even thought of Alexander Junction before. Now I shall place my bid.

I wonder if anyone will care what the station's called as they're being pitched up and down and skewed left and right in a carriage that smells of other people's warm puke as they try and stay standing on the great Maglev Rollercoaster?

Seabee said...

Alexander that amazes me too - the thing goes up and down, twists and turns like a fairground roller-coaster. Some bridges it goes over, others it goes under and even where there's no bridge it changes from ground level to several metres up.

It sure ain't gonna be a fast train to anywhere.

nzm said...

Hopefully the track will be able to maintain its shape in the summer heat too. That's a lot of vertically curved track that hopefully won't soften and twist under the heat and the weight of the trains.

i*maginate said...

I just realised this the other day...those photo ops of Emirates Towers are going to be ruined with those fat concrete things in front of them.

Does anybody know how ppl from one side of the road can get to the other? Like if you have to get off at Emirates Towers station how do you get to the Crowne Plaza side? I imagine this is all going to be planned for but was curious if anyone actually knows...

Anonymous said...

Will there be a Heinekin Station or maybe a Johnny Walker Platform? Or possibly a "Jacobs Creek Line"??

Anonymous said...

Dear I*maginate

Most stations along SZR will have overhead pedestrian crossings travellators to pop over on to the other side

Ex Dubai Metro

Seabee said...

Anon@9.48, no, alcohol is on the banned list for sponsorship, sadly. A 20 metre tall Johnny Walker striding alongside SZR would have been a wonderful addition to Dubai's architectural wonders.

i*maginate said...

Anon - thank you for the response. I was wondering, since I haven't seen construction of these footpaths yet and was wondering if they might not be part of the package lol.

I reckon parking lots should be created next to the stations...

next question, how am I meant to get from my place to a metro station hehe. Brave it by foot in 50C?!

seabee I don't see how alcohol can be banned 4 sponsorship, I once saw a banner at Crowne Plaza for a Johnny Walker event...and what does bubble lounge at the World Cup mean? lol...

Seabee said...

i* booze ban was one of the things listed in their press release.

Yes, there will apparently be pedestrian bridges at each of the SZR stations...but the only car parks announced are at the ends of the line.

Brilliant! For years all over the world the experience is that if you want people to use the train you have to give them car parking space at the stations. Did our beloved RTA learn from that?