The Indian Premier League (IPL) is back with all its hype and extravagance. Unlike the previous seasons that were hosted in India (excluding the 2009 edition; it took place in South Africa), the UAE is going to host the 2020 edition. The shift in the venue is due to rising COVID-19 cases in India.
The eight participating teams of this richest cricket league of the world have started arriving in the UAE. Luxury resorts in the UAE have been booked for their stay during the tournament. These resorts and beachfront properties have gained international recognition to provide their guests with the most lavish and extravagant experience. Some of these properties also have Indian restaurants located in close vicinity along with various other top-notch facilities.
Franchise owners of IPL teams are splashing out huge cash to ensure teams have an ultra-luxury experience during their stay in the UAE. Corporate giants such as Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Entertainment) and Sajjan Jindal (JSW Group), owners of defending champions Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals respectively, have left no stone unturned in this regard.
Bollywood bigwigs such as Shahrukh Khan (Kolkata Knight Riders), Preity Zinta (Kings XI Punjab) and Shilpa Shetty (Rajasthan Royals) are also not behind. They have also shown their generosity and arranged lavish waterfront properties, ranked among the top stay-cations in the UAE, for their teams.
A little birdie tells us that it is more like a competition among the billionaire owners who are going an extra mile to ensure their team gets unparalleled luxuries. Their aim is to provide their teams with the best amenities and facilities so that players could stay motivated during the global pandemic, which is causing havoc back home.
The average per day rent of one room in most of these properties ranges between AED 1,500 and AED 4,000. As per an estimate, nearly 1,000 rooms will be booked for the duration of the tournament keeping in consideration that 2,000 people from India and abroad will be staying in Dubai as part of the IPL caravan. With an average rate of AED 2,200 per room for a day, the cost of booking 1000 rooms per day is going to surpass hundreds of millions of UAE dirhams.
As stated earlier, teams have already started to arrive in their booked properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Enhanced safety measures are to be followed to mitigate the risk of players contacting COVID-19. Each squad is required to undergo a mandatory quarantine spanning over a period of 7 days. The players and management officials will have to stay in their hotels/resorts during this period. Additionally, every member of each squad will be tested thrice in this period. The first test will take place on the first day while the second and third tests will be conducted on 3rd and 6th day respectively.
The players can start training after the results of all three tests are negative.