An artist’s impression of how a Metro station will look after the transformation. Image Credit: WAM/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Work on transforming six Metro stations into museums of art and culture has begun with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) signing two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).

The agreement also involves decorating bridges and underpasses in Dubai in a bid to add artistic touches to the streets of the emirate.

The Dh184 million project, which was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, last month, is set to be ready by March next year, transforming the transportation landscape of the city.

This unique initiative aims at creating permanent museums and art galleries to showcase artistic and cultural works and innovations rendering them an integral part of the lifestyle and mobility experience in Dubai. The initiative will also result in bringing artistic, cultural, aesthetic and historical artefacts and creative works to the attention of the public rather than bringing the public to them.

Among the six stations earmarked for the project are Bur Juman station, Emirates Towers station, Financial Centre station, Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station, Business Bay station and Noor Bank station.

The MoU signed between RTA and Dubai Culture demarcates the roles to be played by both the authorities in executing the project.

Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Chairman of Dubai Culture, and Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, signed the agreements.

Al Owais said: “The objectives of the MoU are in coherence with the endeavours of the Dubai Culture aimed at uplifting the innovative profile of the emirate through interactive communication with all spectrums of the community to keep pace with the growing artistic movement in Dubai such that all components of the city will act as a platform for exhibiting stunning art innovations.”

He added that the step is a vital contribution to realising the vision of Shaikh Mohammad for the lead-up to the World Expo 2020.

“The RTA, in collaboration with the Dubai Culture, will strive to complete the project in March 2015 so that Dubai Metro stations’ art galleries will be, as envisioned by Shaikh Mohammad, as key facilities in our society and core ingredients of our daily life,” said Al Tayer.

He added that the project will be particularly appealing to Dubai Metro riders and add an aesthetic dimension to Dubai Metro stations which are mainly designed to be unique architectural showpieces characterising the Dubai Metro, contributing to achieving RTA’s strategic objectives of increasing the number of mass transit ridership.

The project will also see the trains transformed into moving art pieces, with the carriages wrapped through e-paper technology.

The Dubai Metro network, which transports 137 million passengers annually, will be equipped with the latest technologies as well as smart and interactive applications representing the Smart Dubai initiative.

The stations will also play host to a variety of artistic performances including music synchronised with the movement of the Metro, light show on the roofs of stations, 3D shows as well as interactive screens via smartphones.