Metro station with Islamic art label
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture); the first provides for transforming six of the Dubai Metro stations into art museums
showcasing artistic and creative cultural works; a project that carries a total cost tag of Dh 184 million. The other MoU provides for decorating bridges and underpasses in Dubai in a bid to add artistic touches to the streets of the Emirate.
The signing of this MoU comes in implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the Dubai Metro Stations, which attract more than 137 million visitors per annum, into galleries exhibiting artistic, cultural and creative works. This unique initiative aims at creating permanent museums and art galleries to showcase artistic and cultural works and innovations rendering them an integral part of the lifestyle and mobility experience in Dubai. The initiative will also result in bringing artistic, cultural, aesthetic and historical artefacts and creative works to the attention of the public, rather than bringing the public to them, rendering them an enjoyable part of the daily life of commuters, thus transforming the metro stations into cultural, artistic and historical hubs.
The MoU was signed on behalf of the Dubai Culture by Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and on behalf of the RTA by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, in the presence of Saeed Al Nabooda, Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, Acting CEO of the Dubai Rail Agency, and a host of Directors from both entities.
Pursuant to the MoU for transforming six Dubai Metro Stations into art museums exhibiting creative cultural artefacts, the RTA will attend to providing and preparing the infrastructure needed for stations, cater to interior designs and contents, put a tender for interior design and contents besides marketing and promoting the project. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority will figure out the required infrastructure in terms of power, ventilation, information systems, interior design, gallery contents, tender documents for interior design and developing gallery contents, in addition to identifying and preparing artworks, and setting a plan for modernising artefacts and gallery contents.
The meeting agreed to the theme and pattern of gallery in each station. Accordingly Burjuman Station will be transformed into music and art gallery, Emirates Towers Station will be transformed into Islamic decorations and manuscripts, Financial Centre Station will be transformed into an Islamic Numismatics (coins) Gallery, Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Station will be transformed into an e-library, and the Business Bay Station will be transformed into a photo gallery. Additionally, Noor Bank Station will play host to a Museum of Contemporary Art offering a unique and comprehensive look into modern art through a diverse collection of artefacts depicting the contemporary creative expression, where the museum will feature paintings, designs, graphics, sculptures, and other collectibles that reflect the intellectual and expressive styles created by contemporary artists from all over the world.
It was also agreed to equip the museums with the latest technologies as well as smart and interactive applications in line with the Smart Dubai initiative. There will also be a variety of artistic performances including music synchronised with the movement of the metro, light show on the roofs of stations, 3-D shows at stations, interactive screens via smartphones in all stations, and wrapping metro carriages using e-paper technology.
Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: "The purpose and objectives of the MoU are in coherence with the endeavours of the Dubai Culture aimed at uplifting the innovative profile of the Emirate through interactive communication with all spectrums of the community to keep pace with the growing artistic movement in Dubai such that all components of the city will act as a platform for exhibiting stunning art innovations. The step is also viewed as a vital contribution to realising the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum towards enhancing Dubai preparations for hosting the World Expo 2020, and leveraging the performance of all vital sectors, culture and art included, to unprecedented levels of excellence." "We are excited to proceed ahead in our close and constructive cooperation with the RTA so that we can together add more glamour and elegance to our city through artistic touches illustrating the rich, innovative and unique cultural fabric of Dubai," continued Al Owais.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority said, "The RTA, in collaboration with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority will strive to complete the project pursuant to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in March 2015, so that Dubai Metro stations art galleries will be as envisioned by HH as key facilities in our society and core ingredients of our daily life.
"The project will be particularly appealing to Dubai Metro riders and add an aesthetic dimension to Dubai Metro stations which are mainly designed to be unique architectural showpiece characterising Dubai Metro, contributing to achieving RTA's strategic objectives of increasing the number of mass transit ridership. The initiative also contributes to communicating the sublime mission of Art, as an international language of communication between civilisations and peoples, given that the UAE in general and Dubai in particular embrace more than 200 nationalities. Through arts and cultures we can contribute to disseminating the UAE's culture and civilisation as well as the achievements made by our fathers, founders of Union, whose footsteps are followed by the rulers of the emirates led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the UAE.
Al Tayer praised the partnership between the RTA and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority in transforming the metro stations into cultural, artistic art galleries, stressing that the RTA will provide every support for the work team to accomplish this vital project as per the preset timetable.