By Andy Sambidge
RTA's Rail Agency chief says he expects strong interest from international brands
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday that nearly 200 retail units were available to rent in Dubai Metro stations.
The RTA said in a statement that it was offering 116 retail outlets on the Red Line stations and a further 79 outlets on the Green Line to potential tenants.
Adnan Al Hamadi, CEO of the RTA's Rail Agency, said the retail units offered "unique" business opportunities to companies.
"They are expected to attract a wide spectrum of international brands, and accordingly boost the existing partnership between the RTA and private sector businesses," he said.
A total of 106,000 passengers used the Dubai Metro's new Green Line over the first two days of operation, the Rail Agency of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said last month.
Rail system operators believe the numbers will rise to about 100,000 passengers daily over the remainder of 2011, driven by the heavily populated areas it serves.
A total of 84.2 million passengers have used the Dubai Metro system since it began operations in September 2009, the RTA said previously.
Dubai Metro’s second line, the Green Line, which adds a further 18 stations and 23km to the existing rail network, was officially launched by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on September 9.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Great! This will create a vibrant & exciting atmosphere along the Metro. However, there must be strict control to ensure that the present standards along the whole Metro line is not compromised!
The RTA should lower their expectations and set the rents to be economically viable for the businesses. Even two years after Red line opening there are over 115+ shops still available.
Lets expect it; the metro stations will not be a shopping center and the numbers are too low for even potential sales converts.
I have used the metro several times & tried to monitor the interest of the commuters in terms of shopping. I find that people are usually in a hurry to get into the platform to catch the train & after reaching their destination, they want to just leave the metro premises. There are a few shops opened, and very few people stop even for juice or snacks even at busy stations like bur juman (Khalid Bin Waleed) station.
Hence, from a business perspective, as per my analysis, the revenue in these shops will not be enough to fund even the rentals of these shops.
You can't eat or drink on the metro, which is a good idea. However I am intrigued if anyone ever uses the shops that exist already? I don't see anyone when I get on/off so am wondering if they are good value to the companies that open up?
I think RTA should focus on attracting services to open shop: Etisalat, DU, Postoffice, Immigration, Dnata, Currency Exchange, DHL, Empost.
And a couple of fast food chains (with a place to sit and eat) Mcdonalds, Starbucks, Subway...whatever.
But the most important thing dear RTA, reduce the cost on businesses. Once all the right shops open, more people will use the metro for its convenience and you will make money of ridership fees :) no rent.
I use metro on a daily basis and i was happy to see a new shop opening at my embarkation station, so i thought, ill buy my breakfast from here every day. But the prices at Zoom stores were at least 50% higher than regular market rates. So that was my first and last purchase at the metro station.
The article mentions 84.2 million passengers since September 2009, which means the daily average ridership, assuming all passengers have a return trip, is less than 60,000; this is much lower than the initial assumption of 1,000,000 riders a day. Shops that will open in the metro will have a huge rent bill and low traffic and in order to survive, margins will have to be very high. This is a huge risk to the shop owner and I doubt passengers will pay a premium to purchase items in the metro. If existing conditions persist, I doubt any shop in the metro will remain in business for too long.