Dubai's best fan zones for watching the 2018 World Cup
19 of the city's top spots for catching this summer's football festival
For footie fans, it’s probably the best 30 days to come around every four years. As we all know, Dubai excels during massive sporting events, and the World Cup is no exception. Several massive fan zones are popping up for the tournament, with iconic institutions like Atlantis The Palm and Barasti getting in on the action with huge tents.
There’s plenty to look forward to when the action kicks off on Thursday June 14, so swipe through the gallery above to find the city’s best fan zones and deals.
The Penthouse This stunning Palm Jumeirah rooftop bar is set to be transformed for the World Cup, wit the arrival of the VIP World Cup Extravaganza. With multiple TV screens showcasing the game, plus one huge central screen, all within a transparent air-conditioned tent, your view of the match will be as unrivalled as that of Dubai’s skyline. You’ll be able to watch the game from the pool, ordering sliders, sushi, gyoza and more from Dhs50, and there’s a range of drinks deals on too, including buckets for Dhs180. You can also win tickets to the World Cup itself, don’t mind if we do. Read more here. Open for matches throughout tournament. FIVE Palm Jumeirah, firstname.lastname@example.org (052 900 4868).
Atlantis The Palm One of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks is going all-out for this year’s festival with what it’s calling “the ultimate” World Cup Fan Zone. Every match will be streamed in the Atlantis World Cup Fan Zone, which has capacity for more than 2,000 fans. With a whopping great 28sq m screen as the centrepiece, the fan zone will be split into two distinct areas. The Stadium will be the main viewing arena for fans, with the huge screen and more, while The Bench will have a chilled out vibe with a gamer’s corner, dedicated PS4 stand and even a chance to win a trip to the country that wins the World Cup. This is probably going to be one of the coolest places to catch the whole tournament. For big matches, booking a table is recommended and there’s a minimum spend of Dhs1,000. Free (ladies), Dhs100 (gents, including two drinks). Open daily throughout tournament during matches. Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, email@example.com (04 426 2626).
Barasti Promising to bring “the best football experience Dubai has ever seen”, Barasti will be launching two fan zones for the World Cup. The Barasti SuperDome will have giant screens, live DJs, room for 8,000 fans and more, right down on the beach. Meanwhile, the middle deck will have its air-conditioned tent and giant, 12-metre-wide screen as per usual, so there are two areas to choose from. Open Sat-Wed 10am-1am; Thu-Fri 10am-2.30am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 318 1313).
Brothaus A new addition for this year’s World Cup, Brothaus at Steigenberger Hotel – Business Bay is getting the Der Brothaus Sommergarten fan zone ready. With a range of massive screens, food and drink deals, there are plenty of reasons to head along. The fan zone will also be running a number of competitions and giveaways, including a week-long fully paid-for stay at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Petersberg in Germany. Open daily throughout tournament. Steigenberger Hotel – Business Bay (04 369 0000).
Drai’s Dubai One of Dubai’s swankiest open-air clubs is showing the World Cup throughout the next month. But, fear not the heat, because the club has undergone a revamp for summer, is now air-conditioned and screening all the matches. It’s a casual pool bar where you can rent beds, Jacuzzis, lounges and more, while kicking back for the game – there are even daily events, games and competitions to get involved with. Open daily throughout tournament. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba (052 388 8857).
Emirates Golf Club This place is going all out with its fan zone. A dedicated two-storey lounge is being created for the World Cup, which will have one giant screen and 12 big TVs dotted around so every angle is covered. There’ll also be a whole host of different food and drink packages available, with packages for four starting from Dhs475 and packages for ten available at Dhs1,120. Open daily throughout tournament. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Living (04 417 9999).
Fairmont The Palm Dubai’s World Cup Tent A huge tent is being constructed at this top-notch hotel on the Palm – dedicated purely to showing every match of the World Cup. There’ll be two screens showing the games, and a range of promotions will be running throughout the month, along with a Dhs95 minim spend. Expect picnic benches, fake grass and all the other touches to make it feel like you’re in a proper fan zone. Open throughout World Cup for fixtures only. Fairmont the Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 345).
garden on 8 Media types who are looking for a quick escape from the office in time for kick off should leg it straight over to garden on 8, where the bar’s massive terrace will be covered over to create a special World Cup tent – and of course it’ll be air-conditioned. With loads of screens (and an extra giant screen being constructed specially for it) dotted around the terrace area, and with tonne of drinks promos, events and more to celebrate the tournament, you needn’t look further. Open Sun-Wed noon-midnight; Thu-Sat noon-3am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
Harvesters With eight screens, a giant projector and a tonne of match day offers, Harvesters is running a fan zone for the tournament. Open every day from Thursday June 14 until Sunday July 15, the bar will be offering 20 percent off your bill if you’re wearing your team’s shirt, get five bottles of hops for Dhs110, and if you can correctly guess the score before kick-off, you’ll win some cool prizes. Open daily noon-2am. Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (800 276 963).
Lock Stock & Barrel Barsha Heights On the upper deck of this massive Barsha Heights bar you’ll find a dedicated fan zone with big screens, loads of fan gear plus drinks deals. With every match of the tournament being screened on every screen in this cavernous bar, you won’t miss any of the action. With buy-four-get-two-free on bottles of hops, you’ll be set for the match. Open Sun-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri noon-3am, Sat 2pm-3am. Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 514 9195).
Lock Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk A dedicated fan zone called The Secret Garden is being set up at our Bar of the Year. With its own private bar, a grassy area, all the action and a bunch of food and drink deals, you’ll be set for the match. Throughout the tournament you’ll be able to get buy-four-get-two-free on bottles of hops, every Monday night for the tournament you can also join the curry club for Dhs79 which dishes up a whole curry, rice and naan bread with a house drink. The same applies on Wednesday, where you can pick select menu items with a drink for Dhs79, too. Open Sun-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri 1pm-3am, Sat 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 392 7120).
Reform Social & Grill This proper Brit pub is going all out for the World Cup, launching “Your Local Fanzone” throughout the tourney. Straight off the bat, there’ll be a specially-constructed air conditioned tent with a big screen showing every match, There will be happy hour prices on tonnes of different drinks (for matches between noon and 7pm), plus loads of games and prizes to be won. You’ll also be able to get special dishes for less, with a World Cup menu featuring burger and chips, fish and chips or a British balti (all including a pint) for Dhs99, or a Dhs225 package including a tonne of British bar bites (think mini burgers, scotch eggs, fries et al) plus five hops during all matches on after 7pm. Booking in advance is recommended. Prices vary. Daily noon-7pm. Reform Social & Grill, The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 545 2638).
The Courtyardat Manzil Downtown Enjoy the football action in the relaxed setting of The Courtyard at Manzil Downtown Watch your favourite games on large LED TV screens at an air-conditioned outdoor setting at The Courtyard with a special world cup menu on offer. The adjacent Boulevard Lounge fun zone features PlayStation, foosball and face painting. Dhs150 minimum spend. Open daily noon-5am. Manzil Downtown, Downtown Dubai. For reservations or more information, please visit www.mydubaifootball.com or contact (04 888 3444).
The Last Stand Football Fan Zone An absolutely epic fan zone is coming to Dubai Sports City, one to rival the city’s best. With room for thousands of people, this place has three gigantic screens to see the match, a range of booking and seating options for groups and families, and more. Stop by the fun zone (where under 21s can visit until 10pm), where you can play giant jenga, foosball and even human foosball (sounds fun). After the footie action ends for the day you’ll also see live DJs and bands playing throughout the month. Entry costs Dhs100 and you’ll get that back in food and beverage coupons. Dhs100. Open Sun-Thu 3pm-2am, Fri-Sat noon-2am. The Dome, Dubai Sports City (054 778 8842).
The Irish Village Want to watch the game on the terraces? The IV might just have the most original set up of any place showing the World Cup. A gigantic screen, and tiered terraces where you can watch each game, as though you’re in the stadium – there’s a Dhs100 minimum spend, and groups of ten or more can guarantee seating by booking in advance. Entry Dhs100. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud (04 282 4750).
[u]bk Want to win a keg of hops during the World Cup? Read on. With four different areas dedicated to catching the match, plus 19 TVs and two huge projector screens, you’re in for a treat at this funky JLT bar. Throughout the tournament you’ll be able to get an unlimited two-hour drinks package during each game for Dhs99, while there’ll also be a range of mini games and even a PlayStation tournament. Buy a tower of hops for Dhs125, and sign up for the tourney, where you can even win a keg of hops. Open Sun-Thu noon-3am; Fri-Sat 9.30am-3am. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, JLT (04 438 0000).
Wavebreaker Beach Stadium Down at JBR you’ll be able to head to a fully air-conditioned and smoke-free fan zone tent at Wavebreaker, the beach bar and grill. Every match will be screened live, and there are a range of food and beverage options available too, with a variety of deals starting from Dhs150. You’ll also get beach access with your purchases, and there are kid-friendly zones and activities. Prices vary. Open during every World Cup match. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR (04 318 2319).
XL Dubai Usually a nightclub, this JBR spot is transforming itself for match day throughout the tournament, and is giving away some big prizes too. Daily prizes are being given away include free entry to any chosen match day plus a free drink, ranging up to a table worth Dhs5,000 for ten people to enjoy the final. There’ll also be live entertainment after the last match of each day. Open daily, 4pm-3am. Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, JBR (052 634 1040).
Zero Gravity Dubai’s Beach Club of the Year (crowned so at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards), Zero Gravity is offering a unlimited package for Dhs250 for the duration of each match, with the games being streamed like on a 16ft screen, plus others dotted about the venue. You can get VIP table packages starting from Dhs1,000 for four people, and you can also expect classic footie food like pies, burgers and hot dogs. It’s free to enter for the entire tournament. Open for matches throughout tournament. Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Dubai Marina (04 399 0009).
Further Afield – Velocity Fan Zone With a happy hour that runs until midnight and drinks on offer for just Dhs12, this Abu Dhabi fan zone is also offering a free drink until the first foul of each match during the World Cup. There’s also Dhs3,000 in cash up for grabs, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win every time you buy selected drinks. It has 38 screens in total, including what it’s claiming to be the biggest indoor screen in Abu Dhabi. Open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Sat noon-3am. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi (02 304 7777).