Local and foreign companies can bid for naming rights to 15 stations for upcoming metro project
Riyadh metro to auction station naming rights
Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh metro project has opened the door for national and foreign companies to bid for the right to name stations, with the money raised being reinvested in the public transport system, an approach previously adopted by Dubai's metro system.
The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) on Sunday launched the Naming Rights Programme for the capital's public transit network, which is due to begin operating in 2019.
The metro network, with a parallel bus network, will have six lines traveling 175 kilometres with 85 metro stations. However, only 15 stations are up for naming by “well-known national and international companies.” Of that number, ADA will only award naming rights for 10 stations, the authority said.
“The income from the Naming Rights Programme and other commercial initiatives will be reinvested in the Riyadh Public Transit Network and will contribute to keep its operational cost down,” said Alwalid Al Ekrish, ADA’s vice president for programmes and projects. “This is a good example of how commercial initiatives could benefit Saudi society.”
Businesses can submit offers which include naming rights as well as retail and advertising space at a station. Main metro hubs are not on offer to “prevent over-commercialisation of the network”, and only companies that are “compatible with Saudi values and culture will be selected”, according to ADA.
“Banks and telecoms companies are examples of possible partners which will contribute to improve Riyadh residents’ lifestyle,” said Khalid Al Hazani, ADA director of architectural projects programme and public affairs.
The strategy of selling naming rights for stations was used by Dubai for its metro system. The emirate's
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) by early 2014 had raised Dh2 billion by selling the naming rights of 13 stations.