Dubai: The $23 billion (Dh84.5 billion) Riyadh Metro will begin accepting bids for private companies to acquire naming rights on December 17, with the process ending on January 25, 2018.
Companies must have a minimum trading history of three years in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to an advert placed in Gulf News on Sunday.
According to the metro’s website, companies must also have a physical presence in Saudi Arabia, and have a brand name that is recognisable to the public, in order to be eligible to win the bidding process.
Eligible companies must also have no history of fraudulent or unethical behaviour. It is unclear if this rules out those companies caught up in Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s crackdown on corruption, including Al Waleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding.
The website also stipulates that the winning bidder must have an ongoing commitment to Riyadh and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, without explaining exactly what this means.
Lastly, in the case of a family name, it must represent an established company or brand, according to the website, appearing to rule out any wealthy families who would like to name a metro station after themselves.
Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), the government body responsible for delivering what is expected to be one of the largest urban transport systems in the world, is offering naming rights on 10 stations, out of a total of 85.
“This programme will open the door for the private sector to participate in the long-term sustainability of the kingdom’s first public transit system,” the bidding portal said on the Riyadh Metro website.
The sale of naming rights is anticipated to generate millions of dollars in revenue, to go towards the cost of building the system.