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Demand for IPL tickets take a fever pitch

Abu Dhabi: Demand for tickets for the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have gone through the roof — with both the double headers in Dubai being close to sell-outs and the clamour taking a fever pitch in the capital.

Large queue were seen outside the IPL counter at Lulu Hypermarkets in Al Wahda Mall and Khalidiya Mall on Sunday but several fans were left dejected at not getting their choice of seats for most of the key matches.

“These people are saying there are no tickets available. Today was the first day when it went out on sale from the Lulu outlets but most of the premium tickets are sold out,” fumed Faisal Kazi, a cricket enthusiast who had reached Khalidiyah Mall before Lulu had even opened.

An employee at the Lulu’s ticket counter at Al Wahda, who chose not to reveal his identity, revealed: “There was lot of chaos at the beginning as the people were not ready to wait. We have to go through online only to make the tickets available and that was taking time. There is lot of demand for the opening match and for few matches in Dubai.”

Though the tickets were to go on sale at all the four Lulu outlets in the capital together, it is learnt that tickets were available only at Khalidiyah Mall and Al Wahda Mall from morning onwards.

“As of now tickets are only available at Khalidiyah and Al Wahda. However, it is expected go on sale at Mushrif Mall and Capital Mall in Mussafah from evening onwards,” informed a Lulu employee from their Regional office in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, the two double-headers at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium: Royal Challengers Bangalore playing the defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders up against Delhi Daredevils (April 19) and six days later on April 25 when Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils play ahead of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, are both close to sell-outs.

A press release says access to the Sports City is now easier than ever, even for those people without their own transport, as the F29 bus operated by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) now runs regularly from the Mall of the Emirates. The RTA will be laying on extra buses to cope with the demand for people to reach the Dubai International Stadium.

The box office at the Dubai Sports City head office is now open for sales from 10am — 5pm from Sunday to Thursday, with opening hours likely to be extended closer to the time of the opening matches.

Prices for matches start from Dh30 (one match in a day) and Dh50 (double-headers) and go up to Dh200 (one match) and Dh250 (double-headers) for Platinum seating.

Maqbul Dudhia, General Manager, Sports Business of Dubai Sports City said: “Ticket sales for matches at Dubai Sports City have already been exceptional. It’s only likely to increase now the Dubai Sports City box office is open and we get closer to the start of the tournament. ”