As the remaining part of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is set to be played in the UAE from September 19 to October 15, some of the IPL franchises are sweating over the logistics as the Dubai Expo also gets underway from October 1.
IPL 2021: Franchises sweat over hotel booking in UAE – here’s why
Some of the franchises are wary of the rising prices of hotel rooms as the second half of the league clashes with the Dubai Expo. In fact, they are also aware that creating a bio-bubble will be all the more difficult as people from across the globe would be arriving in Dubai for the six-month-long event.
The current COVID-19 situation has also pushed the BCCI on the back foot and they are yet to approve the travel of some of the franchises to the UAE to finalize the hotel deals and plan their logistics.
Speaking to ANI, a franchise official said while a team from the franchise was looking to head to UAE as soon as it gets permission from the BCCI, they might now look at video calls to close the deal with the hotel they are planning to stay in during the IPL.
“We are yet to get the go-ahead from the BCCI and it is understandable with an eye on the COVID-19 situation. What we do understand is that we will get clarity from the board on the plan ahead around July 15. After that, we could be free to travel.
“But looking at how the COVID-19 situation is always changing, we might look at video calls to complete the bookings. We need to keep in mind the Dubai Expo and how it might make it difficult to get bulk rooms with every passing day,” the official said.
Another official spoke about how getting rooms with an eye on bio-bubble protocols could be a big challenge for the teams.
“We have the Dubai Expo starting from October 1. Getting hotel rooms that are isolated from the rest of the guests staying in a hotel can be a real challenge. It isn’t the same as last time because the number of tourists coming to UAE last time was minimal as compared to what is expected for the Expo. The sooner we can close the deal, the better because once we have locked the rooms, we have to play the bubble which needs to be foolproof,” the official said.
An official of another team said the prices have skyrocketed and moreover, getting 80-100 rooms in a wing can be difficult making it all the more critical when it comes to managing the bio-bubble.
“We are looking at a new hotel this time around and we want around 80-100 rooms and preferably in a separate wing so that there is no chance of the players or staff entering and exiting from the same passage as used by the guests staying in the hotel.
“There is no doubt that creating the bubble will be a challenge as we will have more people coming into UAE this time as compared to last year. The logistics team will need to sit down with the blueprint of the hotel and plan meticulously as there is no second chance here,” the official said.