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Riyadh raises SAR1bn from auction of metro naming rights

Riyadh raises SAR1bn from auction of metro naming rights

The winners are entitled to retail space, advertising and signage among other opportunities

Riyadh Development Authority (RDA) said on Thursday it had raised SAR1.045bn ($278.7m) by auctioning off the naming rights of eight stations on the city’s upcoming metro.

Saudi British Bank (SABB), Dr.Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Alinma Bank, Bank Abila and Majid Al Futtaim Shopping Malls Company, Granada Investment Centres and SABIC were among the companies selected for the 10-year contracts.

Their brands and logos will be featured as the names of specific stations and they will also be entitled to retail space, advertising and signage with the potential to engage with the expected 3.6 million daily metro users.

Read: Saudi begins naming rights tender for Riyadh metro stations

“Our programme has broken records and initially raised more long-term revenues than any other public transport naming rights program globally,” said RDA CEO Tariq Al Faris.

“To have many of the kingdom’s leading companies participate in such a programme demonstrates the important role they believe the Riyadh Public Transit Network will play in citizens’ lives.”

Al Faris said the revenue from the initiative would be reinvested into the system to reduce operational costs.

Further commercial opportunities are planned across the capital’s public transport network, which also saw the introduction of public buses in February.

Read: Saudi to launch new public bus service in Riyadh, Jeddah

The Riyadh metro comprises six lines totalling 176km and 85 stations. It will cover the most densely populated areas of Riyadh, including the King Khalid International Airport, King Abdullah Financial District and major educational, commercial and medical institutions.

French rail firm Alstom said in September its FLOW consortium had won a SAR10.9bn ($2.9bn) deal to run the third, fourth, fifth and sixth lines.

Read: Alstom consortium wins $2.9bn contract to run Riyadh metro lines

The metro is planned to accommodate more than 365 million passengers per year in its opening phase and 1.3 billion per year in the future, serving as the backbone of the public transport system in the Saudi capital city.

It is due to begin operations at some point next year.

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