Do You Know Where You Are Yet?

With the news that the RTA continues to implement their Dubai Metro naming rights campaign by changing the name of the Marina Metro station to Damac Station and Karama Station to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, we ask if they are taking it a step too far and whether users of the Metro really know where they are or where they are going?

When the Dubai Metro project was announced, the RTA also announced that it would be taking bids to name stations on the network after basically, anyone wishing to pay for it. This was an interesting way to make some money from commercial sponsorship in addition to the income derived from letting out premises within the stations.

Dubai Metro Exit
You’ve reached the exit but do you know where you are?

However, the naming rights program took a bit of a downturn when the financial crisis hit and only a few of the stations were renamed at the time the project was launched on 9 September 2009. In fact, according to reports, the naming rights program went so far as to not name a station to reflect its’ location due to the fact that the shopping centre it was located at did not want to pay for the naming rights (hence no Burjuman Station until 2012 when it paid up!).

But, the question we want to ask users of the Metro is, do they agree with the naming rights program? It’s not so much the commercial aspect of it but the confusion it may cause to unwary Metro users. OK so if you use the Metro every day then you may well know where Noor Station is but if say you were a tourist, how would you know where that was?

So with the RTA announcing today that Dubai Marina Metro Station will now be known as Damac station and on Monday that Karama Metro Station will now be ADCB, one question we have to ask is, couldn’t they somehow combine the station names so that you actually know where you are or where you are going? For example Damac Marina Station is surely perfectly acceptable?

Some of the other stations that have been renamed with no indication of where they are, are as follows:

  • Sharaf DG (between Mall of the Emirates and Internet City)
  • Nakheel (between Internet City and Dubai Marina, sorry Damac)
  • First Gulf Bank (between Noor Bank and Mall of the Emirates – does that help?!)

OK so some of the stations that have been paid for reflect the place that they are, most notably the shopping centres like Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre (one wonders what Mall of the Emirates Station would have been named if they hadn’t paid for it), which helps, but the question is, should there be an obligation for the station names to actually describe the place that they are located?

Do you have an opinion on this? Have you ever wondered where a station is because of it’s name or do you think it is not a problem and you just get used to it? Share you opinions in the comments below…

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