Dubai tennis tickets still 'on sale': Bargain websites offer marked-up prices

As the top sporting stars battle it out for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, online bargain websites are abuzz with offers for tickets for the grand event.

Tickets to the men’s tennis events, which was officially “closed” just hours after it went on sale on January 14, has suddenly reappeared for marked-up prices on bargain websites in the UAE.

|We have been in regular contact with the websites advertising tickets to advise that resale of tickets is not permitted under the terms and conditions of purchase.

"The websites have, and continue to assist us by removing the posts,” confirmed a spokesperson for the organisers.

“Private transactions between friends is not our concern, and, as with all other events, returning tickets for a refund is not possible.”

This did impact the resale routine, with the offers on some bargain sites quickly being deleted after the organisers spotted the abuse.

However, the scenario changed just a day before the men’s events kicked off. With many people cashing in on the demand and quoting double or triple the original cost for the tickets.

Emirates24|7 observed that the price is only communicated once the call is made to the seller.

“I can’t sell you ticket to just one day. I have on offer tickets to day 1, day 2 and day 3 for Dh1,000, and the three days plus the finals for Dh2,000,” informed a seller.

Interestingly, the total price for a ticket for the first three days would have officially cost only Dh250, while the finals would have been Dh500.

This would mean the seller would instantly make a Dh750 profit for the first offer, and Dh1,250 with the second offer.

Another seller offered tickets to the quarter-finals (which is officially Dh300) for Dh450, semis (which is Dh400) for Dh550, and for the finals (which is officially Dh500) for Dh750.

This seller even confirmed he could offer us 10 tickets if we wanted.

Another was selling tickets to the finals for Dh1,000.

Messages against reselling were posted on online expat forums as well.

“We have been contacted by the organisers of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to ensure that there is no reselling of tickets on the Classifieds or here on the forum,” it read.

Some members responded saying it was unfair, considering there are genuine cases where people were unable to attend due to personal reasons.

“We have been in regular contact with the websites advertising tickets to advise that resale of tickets is not permitted under the terms and conditions of purchase. The websites have, and continue to assist us by removing the posts,” a spokesperson for the organisers confirmed in a written statement to Emirates 24|7.

“Private transactions between friends is not our concern, and, as with all other events, returning tickets for a refund is not possible.”

When we had contacted the organisers in January, they had stated that they had deliberately reduced the number of tickets that were sold to individuals (to four) in order to reduce the opportunity to re-sell.

“It is a condition of sale that tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships are not to be re-sold,” Sinead El Sibai, vice president of marketing at Dubai Duty Free, which owns and organises the tennis Championships, had stated.

“We are aware that people are offering tickets for re-sale through certain websites and we would encourage people to disregard these ads, and not engage in transactions which reward those who have bought tickets specifically to sell at inflated prices.

“We take the issue of unauthorised resale of tickets very seriously, and have been in contact with the relevant websites to have these ads removed from the sites, and have already had many taken down.

“We will continue to monitor the websites to have the ads removed. During the tournament security will be in place to try and  ensure that no unauthorised sales take place outside of the stadium.”

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, now in its 22nd year, runs until March 1.

Four-time and current champion Novak Djokovic will be back to defend his title.


 

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