Dubai's RTA inks deals for first metro art museums

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(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai's transport authority said on Sunday it has signed agreements to transform the first six Metro stations into art museums, a project expected to cost more than $50 million.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority - one for the stations and a second for decorating bridges and underpasses in Dubai.

A statement said 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

The signing comes weeks after Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the plan to transform the Dubai Metro Stations into galleries exhibiting artistic, cultural and creative works.

He said the project should be completed within 12 months and will be launched to coincide with the start of Art Dubai 2015.

Each of the museums will have a specific theme that highlights a specific aspect of arts or cultures. During the first phase, an Islamic arts and Arabic Calligraphy Museum, Inventions Museum, a Contemporary Art Museum and a Visual Art Museum will be launched.

As part of the agreements, the RTA will provide the infrastructure needed for stations and issue a tender for interior design. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority will decide on gallery contents, in addition to identifying and preparing artworks.

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, light shows on the roofs of stations, 3D shows, interactive screens and the wrapping metro carriages using e-paper technology.

Abdul Rahman Al Owais, chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: "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."

Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the RTA said: "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 characterizing Dubai Metro, contributing to achieving RTA's strategic objectives of increasing the number of mass transit ridership."

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