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Sandance NYE organisers under fire as residents demand compensation


Hundreds take to Facebook and Twitter to voice frustration after organisers issue apology.

January 2, 2014 4:15 by

Organisers of Dubai-based Sandance are facing severe criticism, as hundreds of disgruntled residents and tourists have taken to social media to demand compensation after being stranded on shuttle buses for hours on New Year’s Eve.

As Dubai was preparing to break the world record for the largest fireworks display, authorities announced that access to Palm Jumeirah would be blocked and that the annual event in Atlantis could only be accessed by shuttle buses departing from the American University in Dubai (AUD) in Dubai Media City.

Organisers assured the 17,000 attendees that the trip would only take between eight to ten minutes and that a dedicated bus lane on the Palm – as promised to them by the authorities – would make the journey smoother.

As it turned out, the journey took approximately 90 minutes and hundreds of ticket holders were stranded in traffic for hours, with many being forced to leave the buses and walk or abandon their evening plans altogether.

Hundreds of frustrated customers have now taken to Twitter and Facebook to voice their anger and dissatisfaction, while others have even created pages (such as Sue Sandance) to demand moral and financial compensation.

On Wednesday evening, the organisers issued an apology to all those who were delayed or unable to attend the festival and promised to resolve the situation within 48 hours.

The complete statement reads: “The safety and satisfaction of our guests are our main priorities 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 with each festival, we aim to blow away our guests with an incredible experience and great line-up.

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.”

Traffic on the roads was chaotic and there was clearly a logistical nightmare, but do you feel that Sandance organisers are to blame? Tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter or leave your comments in the box below.

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