We bring you top places to watch a spot of rugger during the NatWest Six Nations
The completion of the New Year festivities means one of a few things – everyone gets a minor case of the January blues; Valentine’s Day comes back to slap singletons in the face; and six glorious weeks of rugby union return to fill up our TVs and give us a great big Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English, French and Italian cuddle.
As the NatWest Six Nations returns on Saturday February 3, here are some of the top bars in the city for rugger.
1 Copper Dog The home of the Scottish, sort of. This top pub has travelled all the way from Speyside, Scotland, and features several screens dotted about the place to catch the action, plenty of beverage choices and, of course, a huge range of Scottish malts. Open Sun-Thu noon 2am, Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR (04 559 5355).
2 Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk When our Bar of the Year announced it was expanding out to JBR, the excitement around Time Out Towers was palpable. This one is twice the size of the Barsha Heights original, and its ambitious scale doesn’t see the bar lose any of the charm we all know and love. Plus, it still shows all the sport we’ve come to expect. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-3am, Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 520 0049).
3 McGettigan’s “But which one could you possibly be talking about?” you rightly ask. JLT, we think, because of The Baggot. Not only does McGettigan’s have more screens showing sport than you could shake a fiddle at, but The-aforementioned-Baggot also has an absolutely gigantic TV screen making sure you don’t miss one solitary pixel of the high-octane action. Open daily noon-3am. Bonnington Hotel, Cluster J, JLT(058 867 5357).
4 Nell Gwynne English pub, Welsh name. Pick your allegiance, and head on in. It’s a proper old-school pub, in fact it’s so old-school it’s positively medieval looking, but it’s cracking fun. It has bar sports, lots of actual sport on the multiple telvision screens and a properly homely vibe – so it’s perfect for the kick-off. Open daily noon-2.45am. Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (04 448 8222).
5 Nezesaussi Downtown Chances are the locals at this positively antipodean rugby bar (which, it should be added is our Sports Bar of the Year) will be cheering on anybody but the English during this year’s Six Nations. Allegiance notwithstanding, this is a top place to catch any match, especially rugby, thanks to its mass of screens and wall-to-wall rugby paraphernalia. Open Sun-Thu noon-2am, Fri-Sat 9am-2am. Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai (04 428 5888).
6 Perry & Blackwelder’s This bar is so utterly laid-back that you’d forget you’re in the tourist honeypot that is the Souk Madinat. Regardless, it’s one of the top spots in the area for sports thanks to its many TVs, while there are also some great bar snacks on offer too. If you’re in the area and fancy a pint in front of the match, head here. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
7 The Dubliner’s A proper Irish, Irish pub. Full of the nooks and crannies you’d expect back home, with one big screen at the end and several smaller screens dotted around the place. Well worth it for the match and the stinging craic to boot. Open daily noon-2am. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 559 5300).
8 The Irish Village Now this is not just a tip-top place to catch the game in an authentically Irish setting, but it’s an all-round excellent pub – that’s why it won our Pub of the Year accolade at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2017. Expect to hear Amhrán na bhFiann (“The Soldier’s Song”) passionately belted out as kick-off approaches, and a fierce atmosphere during the match. Rest assured you’ll find the Ireland match here every week, and with its 20-year-old heritage as part of this city’s folklore, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better pint of the black stuff at any pub in this city to accompany the afternoon’s sporting action. Open Sun-Thu 11am-1am; Fri-Sat 11am-2am. Garhoud (04 329 5000)
9 The Underground Aaah, Blighty. This “British” pub is more English owing to its 100 percent definitely authentic London Underground vibe. It’s so patriotic you can almost hear Swing Low bellowing out on your way in. Even if you can’t there are enough screens to make sure you don’t miss a kick of the action. If your group is after more than just smashing rugby action, there are pool tables, a cracking happy hour that runs until 8pm and some barnstormingly good pub grub. Open daily noon-3am. Habtoor Grand Resort – Autograph Collection, JBR (04 399 5000).