Sandance will make a triumphant return on May 9, more than four months after traffic chaos on The Palm threatened the reputation of one of Dubai’s most popular events. 

News that Atlantis will once again host a mega music festival is another major boost for the region’s party-goers in May, who already have Justin Timberlake, Kings of Leon (part of Live@Atlantis) and Aloe Blacc among the stars performing in the UAE.

No acts have yet been confirmed for next month’s Sandance, though What’s On has learned that organisers have a bigger-than-ever-before budget to ensure the night is one to remember for all the right reasons. 

The New Year’s Eve installment of the festival ended with full refunds being awarded to all ticket holders after many were left stranded in gridlock on roads leading to Atlantis.

Revellers had been forced to travel to the event by shuttle bus from the American University of Dubai, yet failed to even make it to Nasimi Beach outside Atlantis, where Emeli Sande, Axwell, Paul Oakenfold and Pete Tong were among those on the bill.

Restrictions had been set-up ahead of the final day of 2013 as the Emirate prepared to ring in the new year with a record-breaking fireworks display – a feat they duly achieved. Sadly, many were unable to enjoy the spectacle from where they had hoped.

Sandance and Atlantis acted swiftly in the aftermath to appease those caught up in the problems, setting up an online form for refunds. The response helped preserve the reputation of the festival, which had been an unqualified success since its launch almost four years earlier.