Ticketholders must provide passport number, mobile, purchase details to claim refund after thousands unable to access event
A website allowing ticketholders for Dubai's New Year's Eve Sandance event to seek a refund went live on Monday.
Only the ticket purchaser is able to fill out the application form at www.sandancenye2013.com, which requires personal information including a passport number, as well as details about where and how the ticket was purchased. At the time of writing, however, the website appeared to be experiencing technical difficulties and was not working.
A booking reference and receipt number also are requested but are optional, meaning those who threw away or lost their receipt should still be able to make a claim.
Sandance organisers were forced to announce a full refund for tickets to the New Year’s Eve event after they failed to ensure everyone could access the venue on Palm Jumeirah.
The majority of the nearly 17,000 ticketholders – including some with VIP tickets worth AED600 and others who had forked out as much as AED30,000 ($8,200) for a table with included drinks – did not make it to the music festival. However, even those who did are eligible for a refund.
The evening turned disastrous for many after last minute transport arrangements due to Dubai’s world record fireworks display did not go to plan.
Revellers were supposed to board one of 75 buses from American University in Dubai for the 10 km journey to The Atlantis hotel. Organisers had promised the trip would take eight to ten minutes.
Instead, thousands of people spent hours on a bus in one of Dubai’s worst traffic jams. Some reported being on a bus for seven hours, while three to four hours was average.
Many took to social media to complain of being poorly treated in queues to access a bus, while many more abandoned the event as soon as they arrived at the gathering point.
Arabian Business revealed shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day that a refund would be honoured.
Revealing the details on Thursday, Sandance organisers said in a statement: "Sandance is known for amazing experiences and we are extremely sorry for the huge inconvenience to all of our guests who had purchased tickets to attend the event on New Year’s Eve 2013. We understand that many guests wanted to enjoy Sandance on this special night and were unable to reach the venue or experienced significant traffic delays.
"The situation was influenced by different factors that were not entirely owned by us, however feedback from our guests is extremely important to us and we are taking action to reimburse all New Year’s Eve Sandance ticket holders the full ticket value.”
Ticketholders also have been offered a 50 percent discount on the next Sandance event.