Dubai's Atlantis apologises for Sandance NYE chaos

Thousands of ticket holders miss event due to traffic chaos

Revellers wait for the Sandance bus on New Year's Eve.
Revellers wait for the Sandance bus on New Year's Eve.

The organisers of the New Year's Eve edition of Sandance in Dubai, hosted at Atlantis The Palm hotel have apologised to the many people who failed to get to the event due to traffic problems in the emirate.

In a Facebook message posted on Wednesday, the organisers also said they will "provide a resolution within the next 48 hours" for the guests who were forced to abandon their night out.

Roads on the Palm Jumeirah and feeder roads were at bottleneck from late afternoon on Tuesday as Dubai geared up to put on a world record fireworks display covering 100 kilometres.

Organisers of the annual festival, held at Atlantis Hotel on the Corniche, had been told by authorities including Palm Jumeirah master developers Nakheel that last minute traffic arrangements including buses from American University in Dubai and a dedicated bus lane on the Palm would be sufficient to carry nearly 17,000 people to the event.

But thousands did not make it to the event and took to social media and the Arabian Business comments board to express their displeasure.

And a special page has been set up on Facebook to demand refunds for those who did not make it to the NYE event.

A Sandance statement read: "The safety and satisfaction of our guests is our main priority and as such we worked under the guidance of our partners and the local authorities to provide an incredible New Year’s Eve experience as Dubai tried to break the world record for the largest firework display.

"We are extremely sorry that after months of preparations with the local authorities that some of our guests were not able to reach Sandance or experienced significant traffic delays. Our loyal fans of Sandance know that each festival we aim to blow away our guests with an incredible experience and great line up."

The statement added: "We regret that many guests did not experience Sandance as it was planned and will provide a resolution for the guests that were impacted within the next 48 hours."

The music event features top acts including Emeli Sandi, Axwell, Paul Oakenfold and Pete Tong.

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