After a delay of six months, enforced due to COVID-19, Indian Premier League is finally happening. Instead of the home country India, this year the UAE has been selected as the venue for this much-anticipated event.
It’s not the first time IPL has to be moved away from its home turf. In 2009, the event was hosted in South Africa due to the fact that it was colliding with the 2009 general elections that took place in different phases.
IPL teams are flying to the UAE in the next week. The 13th edition of this event starting from September 19 will continue till November 10th across Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.
As the event is nearing, preparations for the stay of teams are in full swing. The Oberoi Dubai has been selected as the official hotel for the BCCI.
Out of 8 participating franchises, none will stay in Sharjah. They have selected Dubai and Abu Dhabi for their stay in the UAE during the mega event. Ultra-luxury, lavish 7-star properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been booked for the teams.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, will be staying at Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. Spanning over an area of 57 acres, this lavish staycation features swimming pools and lush green gardens. The Bollywood star has reportedly invested in beach-front properties in the UAE, particularly in Dubai. Led by Dinesh Karthik, his team will be flying from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi on 21st August.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is also going to take off from Chennai to Dubai on the same date. This Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team has booked a complete floor at Taj Dubai for their stay. Located adjacent to the iconic Burj Khalifa, Taj Dubai is known for its state of the art luxuries and unparalleled hospitality. For the uninitiated, this is going to be the first mega-event in which MSD will be participating after he recently announced his retirement from international cricket.
Mumbai Indians (MI), led by Rohit Sharma) will be staying at St Regis. It is located at Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. This property is owned by Marriott Group. Incidentally, this group is also sponsoring MI for the current edition of IPL. The team will depart from India on either 21st or 22nd August.
Virat Kohli and his team Royal Challengers Bengaluru has booked a stay at Waldorf Astoria, Dubai. Nestled in Palm Jumeirah, it is one of the best beach-front properties in Dubai that are known for lavish hospitality and mesmerising views of Dubai creek. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, will be staying at Ritz Carlton in Dubai. It features a private beach and hosts an array of amenities for guests. The team, without their skipper David Warner, will be departing for Dubai on 23rd August. The captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad will join the team on 26th August.
Kings XI Punjab, owned by Bollywood starlet Preity Zinta is expected to fly to Dubai on 22nd or 23rd August. This team, led by KL Rahul, has booked Sofitel The Palm, Dubai for their stay during the tournament.
As seen by the selection of properties, most IPL teams have preferred resorts in Dubai over hotels. Their decision has been influenced by the strict enforcement of SEOs as team members desire to spend the mandatory quarantine period in open spaces, which these beach-front properties have in place in the form of private beaches.