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With the GCC gearing up for US$115bn worth of rail projects, comfortable stations will be the key for increased number of commuting, industry experts have announced ahead of The Big 5 event next week
Saudi Arabia is leading the projects at US$45bn, followed by Qatar at US$35bn, the UAE and Kuwait at US$15bn each, and Bahrain at US$10bn, according to a report by the German Near and Middle East Association.
Regional metro projects include the Dubai Metro expansion; construction in Doha, Qatar; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and plans for metros in Jeddah, Medina, and Dammam in the kingdom.
Frans van de Laak, GM at Hunter Douglas Middle East Fze, an international ceiling manufacturer, said, “While the GCC countries are constructing a large number of rail projects, in order for them to succeed in growing strong ridership numbers, they need to create uncluttered, well-lit stations where travellers feel comfortable.
“Ceilings play an important part in enhancing the traveller experience as they can absorb sound, lead travellers toward trains, and make travellers feel safe by providing human-sized proportions and ample lighting.”
“This is just one small part of a complex puzzle,” said Daniël Jongtien, architect at Benthem Crouwel Architects, on the Delft Railway Station in the Netherlands. “Together with Hunter Douglas, we designed the baffles in such a way that they bow, as it were, to the rush of passers-by, with the vertical baffles gradually turning horizontal. It provides a natural way of leading travellers towards the stairs.”
An important factor in making sure travellers in an underground station feel safe is light, which is why in between the baffles, artificial lighting has been installed. At 110 gloss units, the baffles have an exceptional gloss level for reflecting light. Special weather-resistant coatings can also reflect daylight.
The Big 5 will take place from 23-26 November at Dubai World Trade Centre.