Sandance will be feature Arrested Development,  Fatboy Slim, Pet Shop Boys and Goldfish when it returns to Atlantis on May 9. UK indie band Scouting for Girls, South African duo Goldfish, and UAE-based Hollophonic will also appear.

It is a statement of intent from the people behind the festival, more than four months after traffic chaos on The Palm threatened the reputation of one of Dubai’s most popular events.

Earlier this month What’s On learned organisers had a bigger-than-ever-before budget to ensure the night was one to remember for all the right reasons. And it seems they’ve splashed the cash this time around.

Fatboy Slim returns to these shores for the first time in two years, armed with his record bag full of late-90s classic uplifting dance beats, including ‘Praise You’, ‘Gangster Trippin’ and ‘Right Here, Right Now’, from the genre-shifting ‘You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby’ album.

Elder statesmen of hip hop, Arrest Development – no, not the TV show – are best remembered for the classic ‘Everyday People’, while listing the tunes that made Pet Shop Boys famous might take all day – we’ll settle for ‘Go West’, ‘It’s A Sin’ and ‘West End Girls’.

According to the official release, it would seem Arrested Development, with their laid-back soulful take on hip hop will perform as the sun sets, while Fatboy Slim will take up the reigns from Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, and their ‘electronic opera’ after dark. The pair are listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful duo of all time.

Rockers Scouting For Girls will be from around 7pm performing tracks like ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’, ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Love How It Hurts’.

Ibiza regulars Goldfish – Dominic Peters and David Pool – are very much in demand at the moment thanks to their creation of live dance music using a variety of instruments, samplers, and special effects. Saudi DJ and producer Omar Basaad has the honour of performing the closing set of the Sandance season.

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 and also offering all those affected by the problems, a 50 per cent discount this installment. That means those who have a confirmed refund can buy the same amount of tickets they had done New Year’s Eve at a discounted rate, so long as they visit the same retailer.

Here’s to a triumphant return and no such measures being required this time around.



Tickets cost Dhs300 (Dhs 450 for VIP) are available from or