Dubai: a metropolis new to metro

dubai-a-metropolis-new-to-metro cropA talk by Tony Howard, Managing Director, Transport Design Consultancy (TDC)

Dubai Metro opened in 2009. It is the first passenger railway in the UAE and set to be one of the world's largest fully automated metros when completely operational. Picture a bustling cosmopolitan city exposed to the elements on the edge of a desert; a place where people are not accustomed to travelling on public transport, except taxis and buses which add to already congested roads. Then build an ambitious metro network - what do first time users do? Tony Howard talks about the challenge to establish a dual language wayfinding and signing system intuitive to navigate by locals and visitors alike.

Based on the graphic standards developed for Dubai Metro, an integrated design approach was subsequently adopted for marine services, trams and street signing. However, an unexpected twist occurred when it was decided to sell naming rights for 23 metro stations just before the opening of the first line. Tony explains how he and his team reconciled public service principles with commercial dictats.

TDC specialises in environmental graphics, brand identity, signing, wayfinding and information design for transport networks around the world.

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