This meant traffic restrictions were introduced on the manmade Palm to ease congestion, and revellers attending the Sandance NYE concert were forced to travel to the event by shuttle bus from the American University of Dubai (AUD).
But despite promising an ‘exclusive Sandance bus lane’ to speed up transport, bottleneck traffic chaos meant many spent hours on buses stuck in traffic on the way to the event.
Hundreds of people have vented their rage on Sandance’s official Facebook page, with more than 600 comments at the time of writing, many demanding refunds and reporting waits of more than four hours to queue, board and travel by bus. Our reporter arrived more than three hours after boarding the bus from AUD at 7.15pm.
Fadi Dada commented: ‘This was categorically, in no uncertain terms, the worst example of event management I have ever seen - and I've seen some shockers!’
Many revellers chose to disembark the buses and walk through the Palm’s underwater tunnel to the event, sparking safety concerns.
Within hours of the event finishing a ‘NYE Scamdance Dubai’ page was set up, attracting more than 100 likes with the statement ‘If you purchased NYE Sandance tickets and had a disastrous experience, join this page so we can all get refunds (at the very least).’
An Atlantis spokesperson said refunds would be issued to some disappointed revellers, with details to be announced shortly. It has been reported some partygoers were offered free drinks upon arrival to appease their frustrations.
Aayat Al Mansoor commented: ‘Thanks Sandance for ruining my NYE ! Worst organizing ever !!!! VIP tickets are useless! We didn't even get in!’
Rachael Towl commented: ‘Absolute disgrace! ....Sandance organisers your reputation is in ruins! Will be demanding a refund! What a way to ruin NYE!’
Angela Delaney commented: ‘The worst and most badly organised Sandance EVER!!!!!! I have just spent four hours of my life collecting a wrist band, getting squashed and hurt in crowds of thousands of people just to try and get on a bus.’
Stuart Isted commented: ‘Well done Sandance... another well planned traffic jam, I assume you will video it for another record?’
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hamze farhat Jan 04, 2014 03:46 am
We Want our money back..;plus compensation for rruining a new years eve for friends who were coming from abroad.
promise? again? Jan 02, 2014 09:50 am
They don't keep their promises anyway!!
joe kozak Jan 02, 2014 08:47 am
I too, never reached the event, along with around 6 or 7 bus loads of people who were turfed out on the side of a motorway with no direction or means of getting anywhere. It is an absolute joke. If there was any kind of real consideration for how many people this event would attract, this wouldnt have happened. My fellow partygoers and I are absolutely furious and want a full refund at the very least. We purchased VIP tickets which were absolutely no use whatsoever. We spent our entire NYE stuck in the heaviest traffic I have ever experienced and welcomed in 2014 on the side of a dusty motorway amongst a bunch of abandoned cars. It was like a scene out of a Hollywood disaster movie. I will never ever trust Sandance or any of its associates ever again. Utterly furious and very very disappointed.
katia bou aoun Jan 02, 2014 07:13 am
it was a shame and very bad situation that no one wants to spend new year in the bus or running on the road to reach antlantis gate , we need our refund please
cusher Jan 01, 2014 06:59 pm
Absolute terrible, Such a shame, i feel for you all, we did sandance one year and it was horrifying, we decided on an easy NYE this year, went to Irish Village 150 AED included a big buffet, fantastic eve well done to all the staff at the Irish village. Thank you