Where to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Dubai

Top bars and pubs showing all the matches from Japan

Where to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Dubai
England vs Wales
Where to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Dubai Image #2
New Zealand vs Namibia
Where to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Dubai Image #3
South Africa vs USA

The 2019 edition of the Rugby World Cup, which is being held in Japan, is kicking off on Friday September 20 – and that means bars and pubs across the city are gearing themselves up for six glorious weeks of rugby fans cheering on their teams until Saturday November 2.

The competition is set to be fierce, with 20 teams going up against each other across 48 matches for the William Webb Ellis Cup.

The tournament kicks off with Japan versus Russia while reigning champions, New Zealand, who are vying for their fourth win, are set to compete against South Africa on Saturday September 21 (that’s going to be a huge one). So in honour of all things rugger, we bring you top places to watch all the action unfold and all the best deals across the city to tackle.

What better place to watch a spot of rugger than at a brand-new sports bar? The popular beach club recently underwent a huge revamp and with it came this swish new spot. It’s on the quiet side, so you’re sure to grab a spot (making it appealing) and whatever team you support you’ll sure to be able to cheer them on here. There’s also a pool table, foosball and pinball to keep you amused during half time.
Open daily noon-midnight. Habtoor Grand Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, Dubai Marina (058 693 5778).

This beach bar’s giant screen always gives the rugger priority, thankfully. There are also daily drinks deals including the new ‘Drinks Exchange’ concept, which sees prices go all over the shop when Wednesdays come rolling around. Prices fluctuate based entirely on demand – the more popular a drink is, the more expensive it will become, and the less popular (you can see where we’re going with this) the cheaper it becomes.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-1.30am, Thu-Fri 10am-3am, Sat 9am-1.30am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 318 1313).

What’s not to enjoy when you can catch a match with a pint for Dhs21? This hangout in Bur Dubai won Best Sports Bar at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2019 and it has more than just the cheap hops string to its bow. There are a dozen screens lining the walls beaming out the match, free pool during happy hour and there’s even a PlayStation that comes complete with its own private (and enormous) screen.
Open daily noon-3am. Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 501 2533).

BFF Gastro Bar & Lounge
With an intriguing menu of 21 hops-based mixed drinks and plenty of ways to amuse yourself during half time (think pool tables, dart boards and table football), rugby fans will be well taken care of here. And let’s not forget the daily 15-hour happy hour running from noon to 3am, with select hops for either Dhs25 or Dhs27 and a deal of five drinks and main course for Dhs169.
Open daily noon-3am. Jebel Ali Village, Jebel Ali (052 177 7541).

Black Tap
This popular burger joint is screening the Rugby World Cup at two of its branches – InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Rixos Premium Dubai in JBR. During all the games, rugger fans can enjoy a buy one, get one free deal on select beverages and while you’re there it’d rude not to try one of its famed burgers (our pick is the All American).
Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 399 9076) and InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 288 3040).

Bridgewater Tavern
If you’re looking for a laid-back sports bar, with some decent grub and a strong happy hour, you can’t go far wrong here. This antipodean spot in Business Bay is one of our favourite sports bars and has a load of screens and really livens up during the big games. With a daily happy hour from 4pm until 7pm you can get discounted hops, grape and mixed drinks from Dhs30 and the food menu isn’t bank-breaking either.
Open daily 4pm-2am. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).

Crown & Lion
An old-school English pub that’s just the most typical pub’s pub. It does the basics well, with reasonably priced drinks, bar sports and a bucket load of screens dotted about showing the rugby, as well as a darts board and pool table for anyone looking to bring the competition to reality. The venue is laid-back and it’s reliably busy whenever there’s a match on making it a top place to watch.
Open daily 11am-3am. Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 448 8000).

Amid the dozens of newer openings, stands this long-standing institution. This British-inspired sports-bar-meets-gastropub has been open since 1997 and continues to serve up a broad array of beverages and offers to accompany its many TV screens showing all the latest sporting action. Catch all the rugby along with views of the Burj Al Arab, a lively atmosphere and a daily happy hour featuring one or two premium beverages you’re unlikely to find at other happy hours in the city.
Open daily 9am-2am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).

garden on 8
This cracking sports bar in Dubai Media City has loads of screens to make you feel fully immersed in the rugby – and that includes the giant screen out on the spacious terrace. There’s also an excellent happy hour that offers up two-for-one on already reasonably priced drinks from 4pm until 8pm.
Open Sun-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Sat noon-3am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).

Kickers Sports Bar
Kickers has been popular with residents in the area for years, boasting indoor and outdoor seating, huge screens to watch live sport and more. Sports fans are catered for first and foremost here and there’s a good happy hour deal that takes place daily from 3pm until 7pm and offers a 33 percent discount on selected food items and drinks.
Open Sun-Wed 1pm-2am, Thu-Sat noon-2am. Football Zone, Sports Village, Dubai Sports City (04 448 1001).

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 high definition television screens and a properly homely vibe. Every Saturday and Sunday you can get a cracking roast for Dhs52 and during all live matches you can get a bucket of six select hops for Dhs136 – it’s perfect for the kick-off.
Open daily noon-2.45am. Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (04 448 8222).

McGettigan’s DWTC
This branch of the Irish pub is a stalwart of Sheikh Zayed Road’s bar scene and with pool tables and TVs, it’s ideal for those who like to play as they watch (and sip). Things here get pretty lively at kick-off and daily deals include happy hour from Sunday to Thursday will drinks starting from Dhs30 between 2pm and 7pm, the long lunch on Fridays and Saturdays where punters can get a signature dish and three house drinks between noon and 4pm for Dhs129. There’s also competitive sporting action on Sundays and Tuesdays, with free-to-enter pairs and singles knockout darts nights starting at 8pm. Rugby fans won’t be bored here, that’s for sure.
Open daily noon-2am. DWTC, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 378 0800).

Nezesaussi Downtown
Chances are the locals at this positively antipodean rugby bar will be cheering on anybody but the English during the Rugby World Cup. Allegiance notwithstanding, this is a top place to catch any match, especially rugby, thanks to its mass of screens, wall-to-wall rugby paraphernalia, cuisine of the tri-nations and cracking deals.
Open daily noon-2am. Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai (04 428 5888).

Reform Social & Grill
This family-friendly gastropub is always popular with the gang, and will be streaming all the games live, during which fans can get a bucket of five hops for Dhs110, while enjoying a two-one-deal on all burgers. It’s also not a bad spot for parents to enjoy the scrum while the kids tuck into an ice cream.
Open daily 8am-midnight, The Lakes, Emirates Living District (04 454 2638).

Social Company

Located in the funky Zabeel House by Jumeirah hotel, Social Company will be airing all the rugby matches on a huge cinema-style screen and also has some top deals that are guaranteed to keep rugby fans well-fed and well-hydrated. Get unlimited chicken wings for Dhs89, bottles of select Irish hops for Dhs36, three pints of dark Irish hops for Dhs99, or a wagyu beef burger and a pint for Dhs89.
Open Sun-Thu 10am-midnight, Fri-Sat 10am-2am. Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens (04 519 1111).

Spike Bar
There’s nothing quite like coming off the course after a masterful back nine and heading straight into the bar for a knees up, pint and a spot of rugger. With 16 screens dotted around the bar plus an extra-large three-metre screen showing live footage of sporting events from around the world, a sprawling terrace and a daily happy hour with reasonable discounts on selected beverages, this is a lovely little spot to watch the Rugby World Cup. Plus, there’s a daily Dhs89 burger and a pint deal.
Open daily 10am-12.30am. Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 417 9842).

The Irish Village

We all know, and love, the 23-year-old Garhoud institution that is The Irish Village, with its massive outdoor garden, screens and craic, and how it’s a top spot for catching the rugby action (though you don’t have to guess who they’ll be cheering on). Now there’s an extra Village to go and check out, because a third branch is now in full flow at Studio One Hotel in Studio City.
Open Sat-Wed 7am-1am, Thu-Fri 7am-2am, Garhoud (04 526 0494). Open daily noon-1am. Studio One, Dubai Studio City (800 788 346).

The Underground
Last year’s winner of Best Sports Bar has carried on where it left off: as a top spot. There are more than 20 screens around this English tube-themed bar, with a large projector, a few big TVs and countless smaller screens positioned to give you a view from every conceivable angle so you’ll be able to see every inch of the scrum. There’s a daily happy hour offering drinks from Dhs27 from 5pm until 8pm, and some top British pub fare.
Open daily noon-3am. Al Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, JBR (04 399 5000).

The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
This is no frills, with a good happy hour, ever-friendly staff and about 30 screens around the bar, which include three massive tellies on one side and a projector on the other. It’s also home to some decent bar grub, affordably priced pints and a double daily happy hour with deals from 4pm until 8pm and then from midnight until closing.
Open daily noon-3am. Citymax Hotel Al Barsha at the Mall, Al Barsha (050 100 7065).

This popular JLT bar is a top spot to catch all the rugby action. Every day, you can get your hands on select drinks starting from Dhs30 and during all games there’s a deal that sees groups of six or more (when booked in advance) get unlimited select drinks and snacks for Dhs185 a head. There are also pool tables, live music, a PlayStation booth and more than 17 screens.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, Jumeirah Lake Towers (04 438 0000).

The first-ever Rugby World Cup took place in 1987 and has been held every four years since. This year the tournament will be held in Japan – its first time being held in Asia.

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