With the GCC hosting USD 115 billion worth of rail projects, comfortable stations will be key for growing ridership.
The GCC hosts rail, tram, light rail, metro, and monorail projects, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leading at USD 45 billion, followed by Qatar at USD 35 billion, the UAE and Kuwait at USD 15 billion, and Bahrain at USD 10 billion, 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, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and plans for metros in Jeddah, Medina, and Dammam in the Kingdom.
“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 travelers feel comfortable,” said Frans van de Laak, General Manager, Hunter Douglas Middle East Fze, an international ceiling manufacturer that has worked on prominent rail stations including the Dubai Metro and the Delft Railway Station in The Netherlands.
“Ceilings play an important part in enhancing the traveler experience, as they can absorb sound, lead travelers toward trains, and make travelers feel safe by providing human-sized proportions and ample lighting,” added Frans van de Laak.
In both the Dubai Metro’s Union Station, one of the busiest stations in the system, and the Delft Railway Station, Hunter Douglas installed ceilings with tapered baffles of extruded aluminum.
These ceilings have the strength to handle the trains racing by, and with half the reverberation time of traditional train stations, can absorb the noise of trains and travelers.