They celebrate their victories, they cry at their losses, they cheer, they feel every emotion running through their veins, but most importantly, they never miss a single game. It’s the time that comes once every four years when blood rushes and hearts pump: it’s FIFA 2018 time, and fans in Dubai are all geared up to glue their eyes to their screens and witness the long-awaited tournament. Here are the best places in Dubai to gratify that football appetite.
Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Fast Food, American, Italian, Pub Grub, $$$
Just about every football lover in Dubai knows this place and has been a part of the grand football carnival that takes place here. This massive, popular venue boasts two fan zones: Super Dome (beachside) and Middle Deck (air conditioned). Barasti is preparing to cater to football fever as thousands assemble for the opening party, as they do for every World Cup. Special effects, DJs, giant screens, an electric atmosphere and, most importantly, a crowd that understands and loves the game. Entry is free, and you pay for what you order. There’s a stadium-like feeling, with an overwhelming crowd.
The Tap House has special FIFA offers, live sports commentary, sports quizzes, on-the-spot prizes and a setting which makes the football viewing experience a lot more fulfilling. It’s a beachfront restaurant with stunning industrial interiors and a friendly vibe to help keep spirits high. Drinks are on the house for everyone if a player smashes a hat trick. Tap House Rewards Passports are another attractive way to save a few dirhams.
Saffron, Atlantis the Palm | Courtesy of Saffron, Atlantis the Palm / Booking.com
One of Dubai’s most iconic and picture-perfect locations, Atlantis is hosting FIFA 2018 with full vigour and a giant screen to bring the games to life for every attendee. Guests can enjoy the play at two locations: stadium (indoor) and beachside (outdoor). The fan zone will comprise a painting station, a virtual reality football experience and a series of football-related quizzes where guests can win prizes. Atlantis has also created a special football menu for fans. Ladies enter free, men pay AED 100 (US$27), and there is a minimum spend of AED 1,000 (US$270) for a table.
Step into the newly branded British pub The Lion by Nick & Scott, which is offering a platter of options for enjoying the FIFA madness. Savour English pub classics with signature dishes from the famous chef duo Nick Alvis and Scott Price. The venue is equipped with eight individual screens to stream the matches. Wearing the team jersey will guarantee a free Russian shot on entry, and every time a team scores a goal, shots will be available for AED 10 (US$2.70).
Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, American, Fast Food, $$$
For media professionals rushing straight from work, Garden on 8 is the quickest option. The venue’s massive terrace will be covered by a huge tent especially for matches. A big screen and multiple tiny screens will ensure viewers don’t miss a single second of the game. Food options like grilled meats, seafood, burgers, pizzas and sides along with a bustling crowd will make the experience entertaining.Happy hours and promos on drinks are available.
This funky pub offers four different areas to watch football matches, with 19 television screens and two huge projectors, so one can expect a wholesome dose of fully fledged sports madness. Up for a tournament? The venue provides mini-games, as well as PlayStations. The ambiance creates a comfortable atmosphere, with wooden beams in different tones and urban-style furniture.Throughout the tournament, packages of unlimited drinks for two hours are available for AED 99 (US$27).
Gastropub, Hotel Restaurant, Belgian, European, $$$
The décor and food at Café Belge reflect all things Belgian, and this 1920s restaurant and bar is prepped to welcome FIFA 2018 with a bang. Conveniently located and serving many varieties of bubbly and food, this is a viable option for many football enthusiasts. If you can produce a Belgian passport, you are entitled to a 40% discount on food and drinks during Belgium matches.
Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Australian, South African, $$$
If you’d like to enjoy the game in a more private setting with an enthusiastic crowd, Nezesaussi sports bar could be the place. The food covers a trio of options from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. There is a special offer of two beverages, chicken wings and a special World Cup-themed gift at AED 99 (US$27).
Fancy a rustic interior to watch your favourite team? Lock Stock & Barrel is a venue that will awaken your passion for sports. The bar will see hundreds of fans cheering for their team. A huge screen and plenty of food and drinks will help keep your energy levels high. This nightclub is known for its music and a very downtown vibe feel, and the enormous space guarantees that there will be ample room for large groups.There are multiple branches, and daily food and beverage promotions.
The luxurious interiors of 44 Sports Bar are an invitation to every football lover to watch FIFA 2018 in a sophisticated, sporty setting. It’s equipped with pool tables, dartboards, shisha and barbecue stations, a bowling alley and a pinball machine, along with a vast food and bar menu. There are also HD screens for an enhanced viewing experience. You can get 50% off at Happy Hour, from 4pm to 8pm.
Gastropub, Hotel Restaurant, Pub, Street Food, Fast Food, Italian, $$$
Media City’s favourite sports bar is the Icon Bar. With loads of live football action and a huge screen to enjoy the game, this place guarantees a fun-filled time with plenty of offers and special deals for visitors. The dark-brown interiors with high bar chairs and comfortable couches offer a laid-back vibe, and a moderately priced, welcoming venue with a mid-sized crowd makes it a convenient choice for many.