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18 April 2024

Sandance 'full' refunds not for all: Read the fine print

By Bindu Suresh Rai

Sandance may have started the process for ticketholders to claim refunds for its NYE party debacle, but the money-back claim does not include the full amount for some.

While the online form on its website, Sandancenye2013.com, which went ‘live’ on Monday, asks all NYE ticket purchasers to complete the process to reclaim the money on its Dh450 and Dh600 VIP tickets, those holding table bookings will get only 50 per cent of their money back in many cases.

When Emirates 24|7 contacted Sandance’s hotline number, they were informed that only 50 per cent of the amount spent on tables will be refunded with the amount deducted for the beverages consumed.

Azad Rehman, who was part of a group that held two table bookings on the ill-fated night for Dh6,500 each, says half his party never even reached the venue, so what was consumed?

He said: “Out of 16 admissions with the table, we had 9 people reach the venue, with the beverages on one of our two tables barely touched. So remind me again why are we paying Dh6,500 for services never utilised?”

Dubai-resident Karin S stated: “I was stuck in that gridlock for four-hours on the bus, walking with my friends halfway, only to discover the roads had been barricaded.

“My table for Dh4,500 was never reached. Exactly why should I only get half of that amount refunded?”

Several others have a similar story with Sandance stating that all those with table bookings are being contacted separately.

Meanwhile, those who booked tickets from third-party sellers are facing similar hurdles.

Ticketholder Abdul Rahim Ahmad postedon Sandance’s official Facebook page, saying: “I bought tickets from Dubizzle. How do I get the refund? I don’t have the tickets’ copy as they had taken those from me when I took the wristbands.

“This means the person who originally bought the tickets and re-sold can claim the refund”

Sandance replied to this query: “Authorised ticket partners are detailed in the terms and conditions on the website.”

Later adding: “We advise you to contact the individual who sold you the tickets.”

Ticketholders can claim refunds by filling out an online form between Monday 6 January until 11.59pm Sunday, January 12, 2014.

After facing a backlash with people reporting six-hour long traffic gridlock, “riot-like” conditions and a “stampede” at the ticket collection point at the American University of Dubai, with hundreds others unable to attend the beach party at the Atlantis The Palm, the event organisers tendered an apology, promising a full refund to all those holding a ticket for the night, along with a 50 per cent discount on the next Sandance event.