Image Credit: Gulf News Illustration picture

Dubai: Two of Dubai’s biggest brand names, Danube Buildmart Group and Burjuman, have joined Dubai Metro’s corporate bandwagon, allowing a station each to be named after them.

The Jebel Ali Industrial Station, which is the second station from Jebel Ali and is yet to open to the public, will be named Danube Station. Burjuman will have the naming rights of Khalid Bin Al Waleed station, which is served by both the Red and Green lines and is one of the busiest on the network.

The names will be officially inaugurated along with the Danube station, which is one of the two stations on the Red Line not operational yet, on 12/12/12.

“The Jebel Ali Industrial station which will be renamed Danube station is the 28th station to be opened on the Red Line. We are looking to inaugurate it in December, most probably on 12/12/12,” said Abdullah Ali Abdul Razzaq Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The partnership, which is expected to run into billions, was announced on Monday at the RTA head office in the presence of top RTA officials as well as Rizwan Sajan, chairman of Danube Group, and Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Burjuman Centre.

‘A great honour’

“It is a great honour for us to join hands with the RTA and associate with a brand name like the Dubai Metro. I’m really delighted on this development and I thank the government of Dubai and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the continuous support for Danube. I think this will strengthen our relationship further,” said Rizwan Sajan, following the announcement of the deal.

The 10-year deal will have both the firms shelling out huge sums but Sajan is sure of the returns.

“Not everything is measured in terms of money. Partnering with the public sector has its own benefits. The amount of goodwill this will create among people is invaluable for us,” added Sajan.

The renaming of Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station, already popularly known as Burjuman station for its close proximity to the shopping centre, is just a formality waiting to be completed.

“The Dubai Metro is being globally hailed as one of the most modern and efficient public transportation projects to be successfully rolled out in recent years. As pioneers of the shopping mall industry in the region, we are delighted to contribute to the success of this landmark project. Securing the naming rights of Khalid Bin Al Waleed station is part of Burjuman’s ongoing commitment to support and partner the vision of the government and its agencies to make Dubai a model city in every sphere,” Al Ghurair said.

Business model

Danube and Burjuman joined 11 other corporate firms whose names are associated with Metro stations and they certainly are not going to be the last.

“This is a great business model where both the sides get great mileage. We are eager to partner with more private firms and are currently in talks with a few. We will announce once we have it finalised,” said Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.

Al Hammadi said that the Dubai Metro Station Naming project is the first of its kind worldwide and is the world’s first revenue model for public transport infrastructure, which has now been emulated by other cosmopolitan cities such as Chicago, Boston, Houston, London, Delhi-Gurgaon, Philadelphia, Montreal and Rio de Janeiro, among others.

The other 11 stations that are named after private or public firms on both the Red and Green Lines are Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, Etisalat, Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO), Sharaf DG, First Gulf Bank, Nakheel, The Palm Deira, Nakheel Harbour & Tower, Dubai Airport Free Zone and Noor Islamic Bank.