33 best places to watch the Premier League in Dubai
One of the biggest sporting competitions of the year is back. Catch all the Premier League action at these 33 pubs and bars
It’s been a long wait, 81 days to be precise. That’s right, with no (proper) summer football, we’ve spent 81 days wondering if Leicester will be rubbish again, if Pep will pop under pressure and what Wayne Rooney’s hair will look like on his return to Everton. Well, that wait is over, the English Premier League kicks off on Friday August 11 as Arsenal host Everton. (Yes Wayne, we’ll be watching.) Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work and created a snappy guide to the bars showing the games, the snacks to order and the happy hours you shouldn’t miss. Read on. You’re welcome.
(P.S. It’s not all about the Premier League, the English Football League kicks off on Friday August 4. Altogether now, E-I-E-I-E-I-O...)
The Dubliner’s Aside from the fact that this down-to-earth Irish pub is a fun spot to watch a match, it also offers a huge range of deals, as well as chances to win raffle prizes and more. Number of TV screens: 16. Happy hour: 20 percent off selected drinks, Sat-Thu noon-8pm; two-for-one beverages, Fri noon-6pm. Signature bar snack: Lobster sliders with tomato, avocado and lettuce (Dhs94). Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 217 0000). The Irish Village A classic sporting spot, and, as our 2017 Pub of the Year, one that’s definitely worth a visit to on match day. The atmosphere and setting are both pretty much unbeatable, and there’s a menu of epic pub grub to boot. Number of TV screens: Two. Happy hour: None. Signature bar snack: Chopped sausage with sweet chilli mayo (Dhs49). Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud (04 282 4750).
Boston Bar This is a fun, friendly spot where the bartenders are on first-name terms with the regulars. Screens: Two. Happy hour: 20 percent off selected beverages, daily noon-8pm. Signature bar snack: Sausage by the metre – choose from spicy chicken chorizo, lamb merguez, veal bratwurst and turkey Cumberland (Dhs130 for one metre). Jumeirah Rotana, 2nd December Street, Satwa (04 345 5888).
Quantum Sports Lounge The screens that line the walls at this contemporary sports bar are everywhere you look. Plus, you can try out some footy skills of your own on the foosball table. Number of TV screens: Nine. Happy hour: Two-for-one bottles of hops, daily 6pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Mini beef hot dog with creamy hops mustard (Dhs30). Melia Dubai Hotel, Port Rashid (04 386 8111).
Time Café There are a whopping 34 screens at this cheap and cheerful spot in Karama, so you won’t need to crane your neck over crowds of other fans to see the game. Number of TV screens: 34. Happy hour: 30 percent off all beverages, daily noon-7pm. Signature bar snack: Time Café Three For All platter – loaded with potato skins and calamari, plus Buffalo wings with barbecue sauce and cheese dip (Dhs60). Ramee Royal Hotel, Karama (055 600 5622).
It may seem like a bit of a trek to get to for some, but this sports bar serves a growing number of residents from surrounding housing developments, which means hefty crowds and a buzzing atmosphere. Number of TV screens: Eight. Happy hour: House beverages for Dhs25, Sat-Wed 1pm-3pm, 5pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Deep-fried Camembert with cranberry relish (Dhs55). The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba (04 381 3780).
One of the newer sports bars in town, Bridgewater Tavern has a cool, almost hipster, vibe to it, while sports play out on large screens across both floors of the venue. Number of TV screens: 15. Happy hour: Two-for-one selected beverages, daily 4pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Flaky paratha tacos with chilli chicken, barbecue brisket, crispy fish, sour cream and guacamole (Dhs65). JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 0000).
Double Decker This stalwart of Dubai’s pub scene has been around for years. It remains an old favourite for many in the city so, needless to say, it gets pretty busy on match days. Number of TV screens: Nine. Happy hour: 50 percent off house pours, hops from Dhs36, daily noon-8pm. Signature bar snack: Welsh rarebit croutes (Dhs50). Roda Al Murooj, Downtown Dubai (04 321 1111).
Fibber Magee’s Cosy up in one of the city’s best-loved Emerald Isle haunts for some top Irish craic, pub grub, alongside a whole load of very enthusiastic footie fans. What more do you need on game day? Number of TV screens: Ten. Happy hour: Bottles of hops from Dhs25, pints from Dhs32, daily 4pm-7pm. Signature bar snack: Fibber’s cheese on toast with onion and chilli (from Dhs20). Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 4200). Harvesters Pub This is the home of the UAE branch of the official supporters’ club for Man Utd. Fans tend to congregate here to watch the games, and since this team has such a gigantic following around the world, this is bound to be one of the most atmospheric spots to cheer on the Reds. Number of TV screens: One. Happy hour: None. Signature bar snack: Barbecue short ribs with butter-roasted potatoes and carrots (Dhs88 half portion, Dhs160 full portion). Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Road (800 276963).
Long’s Bar Yes, it’s a super long bar, but the main draw of this casual spot is the great (and lengthy) happy hour deals that run every night of the week. Expect a crowd of regulars on weeknights and a lively post-brunch bunch at weekends. Number of TV screens: 18. Happy hour: 30 percent off selected beverages, Sun, Tue and Thu-Sat noon-8pm; Dhs25 house beverages Mon and Wed noon-2am. Signature Bar Snack: East and west coast crab cakes with Tex-Mex mayo, Thai chilli sauce and tartare sauce (Dhs66). Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 343 8000).
This huge branch of McGettigan’s has a space entirely dedicated to sport. It can always be relied upon for an upbeat crowd and an electric atmosphere on match days. Number of TV screens: 15. Happy hour: All house beverages Dhs29, Sun-Wed 3pm-7pm. Signature bar snack: Buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce (Dhs66). Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 378 0800). Other branches: Cluster J, JLT; Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim.
If the winner of our 2017 award for Best Sports Bar doesn’t make an excellent venue for watching the match then, frankly, we don’t know what does. The original still holds a special place in our hearts for its enthusiastic crowd, friendly staff and meaty menu. Number of TV screens: 19. Happy hour: Hops and sparkling Dhs30, grape and house beverages Dhs25, Sun-Thu noon-6pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-6pm. Signature bar snack: Boerewors rolls (beef sausage) in a baguette with onions and stewed tomatoes, served with chips (Dhs65). Manzil Downtown, Dubai Downtown (04 428 5888). Other location: Address Dubai Marina (04 436 7777).
Original Wings & Rings The deals on chicken wings have a lot to do with drawing in diners, and we’re not surprised. Wash them down with a happy hour beverage. Number of TV screens: 21. Happy hour: Selected beverages from Dhs20, daily 4pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Ten chicken wings. Choose from ten sauces and four spice levels, too (Dhs65). Liberty House, DIFC (04 359 6900).
This tries hard to be a quintessential English pub. Everything from the walls to the floors to the big leather chairs will have British expats feeling nostalgic. Number of TV screens: Five. Happy hour: Selected drinks Dhs25, Sun-Wed 4pm-8pm, Thu 4pm-8pm, Fri-Sat noon-8pm. Signature bar snack: The Chip Shop Platter complete with battered fish, chicken tenders, onion rings, scampi, mushy peas, curry sauce and more (Dhs130). The Atrium, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 437 0022).
JUMEIRAH & UMM SUQEIM
D&A This upscale gastropub has a killer menu of fancy pub food and stunning palm-fringed beach views. Ideal for making you feel better, should your team lose miserably. Number of TV screens: Seven. Happy hour: Up to 50 percent off selected drinks, daily noon-7pm. Signature bar snack: Scottish haddock fish and chips with mushy peas (Dhs130). Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8720).
Loca Oddly enough, this buzzing little Mexican venue is the home of the city’s official Chelsea supporters’ club. Though it’s worth heading down even if you’re not a Chelsea fan for the excellent Mexican snacks and lively vibe. Number of TV screens: Eight. Happy hour: Mexican beverages, bottled hops and house beverages Dhs30, draught hops Dhs35, daily 5pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Cangerjo crab guacamole with habanero, coriander, lime and orange, prepared table-side (Dhs67). Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Perry & Blackwelder’s An all-American bar may not seem like the obvious choice to watch the Premier League, but supporters of Everton tend to meet here on game days, making it a surprisingly fun spot once kick-off rolls around. Number of TV screens: Two. Happy hour: Selected beverages Dhs29, Sun-Fri 5pm-8pm, Sat noon-2am. Signature bar snack: Slow smoked mesquite brisket, served with bread rolls (Dhs120). Add two sides for Dhs40 (we say go for the mac ‘n’ cheese and Southern coleslaw). Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6197).
BARSHA & BARSHA HEIGHTS
Brunswick Sports Club This Al Barsha bar from the reliable folk at Bull & Roo has made a big name for itself since opening. It’s one of the trendiest places in the city – sports bar or not – and the bites are far superior to your usual snacks. Number of TV screens: Seven. Happy hour: Selected grape Dhs20, selected house pours Dhs25, selected hops Dhs35, daily 4pm-7pm. Signature bar snack: Smoked cheese fondue with green apple, pickled mushrooms, chilli oil and hops bread (Dhs50). Sheraton Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (056 404 0685). Crown & Lion A British bar with pool tables and dart boards to entertain you while you wait for kick-off. Nothing fancy, just a good old-fashioned pub with daily drinks deals and hearty platters of food. Number of TV screens: Eight. Happy hour: All draught hops Dhs30, daily 5-8pm. Signature bar snack: Homemade steak pie with mash or chips and lashings of proper British gravy (Dhs90). Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 448 8000). Good Fellas Sports Lounge
If you support Liverpool head here, where the official supporters’ club of the team meet for matches. Celebrate any wins on the dancefloor upstairs in Rock Bottom Café. Number of TV screens: 13 Happy hour: Selected drinks 20 percent off, Sun-Thu noon-6pm; selected beverages Dhs25, 6pm-9pm. Signature bar snack: The Classic LF-4C burger, with cheddar and all the usual extras (Dhs52). Ramee Rose Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 450 0111).
Lock, Stock & Barrel Time Out Dubai’s Bar of the Year 2017 is one of those all-round spots that offers plenty of entertainment, excellent food and great music once the games have finished. That’s three reasons for you to head here to watch the match. Before we’ve even mentioned the brilliant happy hour. Number of TV screens: 14. Happy hour: Selected beverages two-for-one, daily 4pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Cap’n Crunch chicken with Creole mustard (Dhs59). Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 514 9195).
Man Utd beat Man City 2-0 in a friendly match on July 20. Mark your calendars because they go head-to-head once more on December 9, and, if you’re a City supporter (like all true Mancs are, apparently), you’d do well to get down to the home of the team’s official supporters’ club. Number of TV screens: 15. Happy hour: Bottled hops from Dhs25, draught hops from Dhs30, house beverages from Dhs20, daily 4pm-8pm and 1am-3am. Signature bar snack: Steak pie (Dhs59). Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha (04 409 8000).
The Locker Room Sports Bar & Lounge Tottenham supporters, make this your base for the Premier League. The official supporters’ club of the team meet here to watch matches so you won’t be the only ones wondering why you can’t win at Wembley. Number of TV screens: 12. Happy hour: 15 percent off selected house beverages, 1pm-8pm; 50 percent off selected house beverages 8pm-2am, buckets of five hops for Dhs99. Daily, 1pm-2am. Signature bar snack: Classic burger with provolone, sliced mushrooms and tomato relish, served with French fries (Dhs45). Golden Tulip Al Barsha, Barsha Heights (04 341 7750). The Q Plenty of large TV screens line the walls at this simple, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin sports bar that’s the home of Dubai’s Arsenal supporters’ club. Number of TV screens: Ten. Happy hour: Selected drinks from Dhs20, daily 4pm-8pm; bucket of five hops for Dhs144, daily noon-2am. Signature bar snack: Barbecue beef sausage fajitas with barbecue sauce, onion, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and salsa (Dhs55). Holiday Inn Dubai, Al Barsha (04 323 4333).
DUBAI MEDIA CITY AND THE PALM
Bidi Bondi This friendly little bar is as casual as you would expect from an Aussie-themed spot, and far less fancy than you’d imagine from a popular haunt on the Palm. It’s got plenty of screens, too, so it’s an excellent place for watching sport. Number of TV screens: 17. Happy hour: House drinks Dhs30, Mon-Thu 6pm-9pm, Sun 10am-midnight. Signature bar snack: Mountain of nachos with sour cream, cheese, jalapeños and guacamole, (Dhs60). Add chilli con carne for Dhs20. Shoreline apartments, Building 4, Palm Jumeirah (04 427 0515).
ICON Bar Media City’s after-work crowd make this a bustling bar any day of the week, but you can guarantee that on match days office workers will flock here in their droves. Number of TV screens: Five. Happy hour: Selected beverages 30 percent off, Sun-Thu 5pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Giant olives with garlic and chilli (Dhs20). Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 366 9131).
One of the newer additions to the Palm, The Tap House is beachy, casual and gastropubby in equal measure. It doesn’t have the highest number of screens in the city, but if you’re after a slightly more upscale setting than your average bar, and some tasty food, this venue is worth heading down to. Number of screens: Five. Happy hour: Varying discounts on draught hops, house beverages and grape, Sun-Thu 2pm-7pm. Signature bar snack: Parmesan and truffle chips with green pepper mayo (Dhs40). Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 514 3778).
DUBAI MARINA AND JBR
Girders A small and casual garden pub with ample screens inside and great terrace to enjoy during cooler months. Number of TV screens: Five. Happy hour: Selected beverages Dhs25-28, Thu-Tue 4pm-8pm, midnight-1am; Wed 4pm-3am. Signature bar snack: Crispy basket with cheese-stuffed jalapeños, onion wings, chicken wings, seafood money bags and vegetable spring rolls (Dhs65). JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (04 814 5590).
Nell Gwynne A down-to-earth British pub that can get a bit rowdy from time-to-time. The place will no doubt be busy for Premier League games with masses of singing, chanting, cheering and booing. Number of TV screens: Eight. Happy hour: Selected house beverages from Dhs25, daily 4-8pm. Signature bar snack: Classic British fish and chips (Dhs77). Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (04 448 8222). The Underground Pub This friendly London tube-themed pub has long been a stalwart of the city’s sport-watching sites. When it comes to the Premier League, it’s invariably filled with enthusiastic fans. Number of TV screens: 17. Happy hour: Selected drinks Dhs27, buckets of hops Dhs110, daily 4pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Loaded potato skins with sour cream, spring onion and cheddar (Dhs50). Habtoor Grand Resort, Dubai Marina (04 408 4221).
Reform Social & Grill Make a beeline for this homey gastropub if you fancy a full pub dinner while watching the game, or to enjoy the summery garden once the weather cools down. Bonus: if you’ve got kids in tow, they’ll be well occupied at the play area while you enjoy the football. Number of TV screens: One big projector screen (without commentary). Happy hour: Selected drinks from Dhs30, Sun-Thu 5pm-8pm. Signature bar snack: Fish finger buttie with chunky chips (Dhs75). The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 454 2638).
This huge bar in Dubai Sports City gets packed out with patrons, especially on match days, so expect a lively atmosphere and a busy bar, plus some weird and wonderful bites to accompany the game (burgers served on sugared doughnuts, anyone?). Number of TV screens: Ten small, three large. Happy hour: 33 percent off food and beverages, daily 3pm-7pm. Signature bar snack: Curry and chips, with tikka masala gravy (Dhs32). Dubai Sports City, near Fit Republik (04 448 1001).