The city's newest transport attraction created new advertising space that brands embraced quickly.
Print Works Dubai, the renowned Dubai-based large and very large format printing and fabrication company, was entrusted with the first branding of the Dubai tram. This project meant a full wrap of two trams with seven carriages, each measuring 44 meters in length.
The job including installation had to be carried out with great expertise and accuracy as neither the RTA logo (Road and Transport Authority) nor any of the security logos and marks, nor the gaps were allowed to be covered up. The same goes for the driver windows and any of the road safety features of the tram that had to remain untouched. In addition, the to be fixed media had to resist weather influences such as sun, heat or sandstorms that are quite common in the UAE, but also rain. Needless to say that lightfastness and durability for the duration of the whole campaign was essential.
The project started with taking the measurements of the trams and a site survey. Line drawings of sizes for each tram had to be done whereby a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail were essential. "We were not allowed to miss one little inch during the measurement phase, it was the most demanding and important part of the job. Our expert knowledge in wrapping vehicles (cars, SUVs, lorries...) helped us along the way and resulted in a precise and fully detailed drawing", says Karim Ph. Saad, Managing Director from Print Works Dubai.
Thus the basis was established to carry out the job that was finally approved by UAE Signs, the media and booking company from RTA that is responsible for marketing the advertising space on trams. It took one day to prepare the files for the tram wrap as each panel section of the tram had to have its own file.
Print Works Dubai decided to print the job on their HP Designjet L65500 they acquired from the HP distributor Jacky's. This printer with wide scan technology accommodates media up to a width of 2.64m and employs HP Latex inks that show a low environmental impact and are UL Ecologo and UL Greenguard Gold certified thus meeting sustainability goals. The water-based Latex inks are odourless and nickel free and do not generate any ozone during printing resulting in not requiring special ventilation systems. They also show a high degree of scratch-resistance and weather durability. As the products come out of the printer completely dry they can immediately be processed.
The company located at DIP (Dubai Investment Park) decided for Multifix sticker grayback vinyl for the trams and for Multifix one way vision for the window parts of the tram. As each panel section is different and the gaps of the tram had to be maintained, the different parts of the full wrap were printed on the HP Latex printers separately. It took 36 hours to print all different sections for one tram. The exact sizes, bleeds etc. were important factors as were the corporate branding from the client Adidas and colour management. After printing, Print Works Dubai laminated each section with 6534 glossy laminate to protect the artwork further.
"The striking and beautiful images with its rich colours were printed perfectly by our HP Latex printers. The wide colour gamut and rich density proved once again to us that when it comes to wraps, not many can compare with HP Latex inks and their technology", states Karim Ph. Saad. "Thus comfortable viewing from near and far away is made possible."
As each carriage of the tram required approximately 39.8 sqm wrap, a total of 232.28 sqm media were required for the full wrap of one tram. The giant puzzle of segments was laid out and first of assembled at Print Works Dubai before the company went to the installation site. Much care and precision had to be shown as only one wrongly placed segment would have put the job in jeopardy.
After 10 hours work with a staff of 12 on one tram, the first branded Dubai tram was ready to hit the rails. And after another 10 hours, the second tram was also finished.
"It was the first time for us to wrap a tram as the tramline in Dubai just has been established and opened to the public", says Karim Ph. Saad. "The most important part of the job was the file preparation and the exact measurement of the tram that our staff undertook. Our client, Adidas, is very happy with the result. Once again, our expertise in wrap jobs has paid off and we were able to fulfill and even exceed the clients expectations."
About Print Works Dubai
Since 1993, Dubai-based Mediatech has been solidifying its position as one of the leading prepress companies in the Emirates. With a team of some of the most experienced professionals in the business, the company has cultivated a perfectionist tradition with an almost obsessive dedication to excellence. It is not surprising to see how such a profile would be totally fit for Print Works. The Lebanese company started operating in 1999 as a digital printing service and quickly became the leader in its field. Since then, it has expanded its operation to include an array of media and production techniques, in addition to complete fabrication and installation services, all following the same obsessive mindset as its Emirati counterpart. It is a match made in heaven. Today, Print Works Dubai is Dubai's turnkey solution provider for event-production and direct-marketing needs, with integrated state-of-the-art services and an expert creative consulting approach you can truly rely on.
About the Dubai Tram
Officially inaugurated under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on November 11, 2014, the Dubai Tram is the newest means of transport in Dubai (UAE) and initially covers 10.6 km and spans 11 stations from JBR to Safouh. Dubai Tram is considered the first tram outside Europe powered by ground electric cables extending throughout the tramway, thus obviating the need for centenary cables. It is also the first tram in the world that uses the technology of platform screen doors the mechanism of which is synchronized with the opening and closing of the tram doors in order to provide additional comfort, safety and security to riders, besides maintaining the efficiency of the air-conditioning of the internal environment of stations and carriages and protecting it from the impacts of external climatic conditions. It is also the first tram in the world that uses automatic protection technology in order to ensure higher levels of comfort, security and safety to riders, the first tram in the world that has air-conditioned passenger stations, and the first tram that has Gold Class, Ladies & Children and Silver Class cabins. The Dubai Tram boasts of high-class and deluxe internal finishing works of carriages and stations. The tram is fitted with edge cutting technologies in displaying information and entertainment materials. It also enhances the business, trade and tourism structures as well as the economic base of the Emirate, besides minimizing carbon emissions, sustaining the environment, and improving the living environment of residents.
The initial and second phases of the Dubai Tram extend 14.6 km along Safouh Street and the initial stage stretches 10.6 km starting from the Marina up to the Tram Depot nearby the Dubai Police Academy. The entire tram network spans 17 stations and the initial stage covers the construction of 11 stations. Stations have been located to serve densely populated and activity areas along the tramway. The tram fleet comprises 11 trams under the initial stage, and 14 trams will be added in the second stage to bring the total to 25 trams. The tram is expected to serve about 27 thousand riders at the start of operations in 2014 and the ridership is anticipated to hit about 66 thousand riders by 2020.
Each tram measures 44 meters in length and has a capacity to accommodate 405 riders. Passengers platform at stations extends 45 meters and is fitted with screen doors extending along the platform, automated doors, fare collection machines and facilities customized for the use of special needs.