On 09.09.09 urban rail is scheduled to arrive in the Gulf with the opening of the Dubai Metro’s first line.
Saatchi and Saatchi is responsible for the metro’s marketing campaign, well underway in print and on billboards and radio waves. In English: “My City, My Metro.” In Arabic: المترو اختياري (“the Metro is my choice”*). Has a company’s marketing strategy ever meant so much to a city’s survival?
Fares were announced last month and range from 1.8 - 6.5AED in standard class or 3.6AED - 13AED in the “gold class,” depending on distance traveled and type of payment.**
If enough Dubaians do make the Metro their choice mode of transit, it could reshape everyday routine and perhaps even the city’s identity as an automobile-centered city. And as the billboard suggests — a line woven through Dubai icons scattered on a geometric carpet — it could also be the first explicit attempt to synthesize a comprehensible Dubai.
* It is also possible to interpret the Arabic as “Metro optional.”
** Conversion to USD: $0.49-$1.77; $0.98-$3.54.