Best sports bars in Dubai
Get everything you need to know about Dubai's best sports bars, including drinks deals, happy hours, numbers of screens and extras, like pool tables
Whether you like the Premier League or the Premier League of darts, nothing can quite beat watching sport in a big group in a busy bar. Well, apart from being there, of course.
But while living in Dubai we have to watch top level sport from afar (most of the time!), there are plenty of places all over turn pandering to our inner sports star. From giant outdoor screens, to private booths with your own barman, you will find somewhere that suits your needs.
We might even suggest watching your team at a different venue every time they're on...
This spot excels at doing the basics right for a sports bar. Plenty of screens: check. Good drinks deals: check. In fact it’s so good that we named it Sports Bar of the Year at our 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards. But does the pub grub live up?
While you may spend a bit of time perusing the menu of British classics (we’re talking steak pies, a full English brekkie et al), there’s one dish that keeps us going back.
The toad in the hole is, by our reckoning, the stand-out option on the menu. Four whopping great sausages perfectly baked into a crispy-on-the-outside-but-soft-in-the-middle Yorkshire pudding, topped with creamy mashed potato and lashings of onion gravy.
It’s a real homely treat and each element balances perfectly together. About halfway through you may consider asking for the rest to take away, but we bury our pride and devour the lot.
If you don’t eat meat, pickings can be a little slimmer – this place is prime for carnivores. A Caesar salad, served with prawns instead of chicken, is not hugely generous in terms of the crustacean, and we’d hope for something a bit more substantial for our Dhs65. It’s an odd contrast to the ginormous toad in the hole, but there are other options such as fish and chips and fajitas.
You’ll go here for the sports, but the food isn’t bad, either.
The bottom line
Hearty grub paired with endless sport.
At more than 20 years old Barasti, is one beach bar that’s never going out of fashion. So while it might be ageing in years, it’s never getting old in terms of popularity with its army of fans here in Dubai.
The reason for its popularity is multi-faceted. The massive, sprawling beach bar and club provides whatever you’re looking for – be it lazing in the sun, watching the game, tucking into some decent bar food or partying to top name DJs. It covers all bases, and it covers them well.
Not only did it take home the gong for Best Beach Bar at the 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, it also claimed Highly Commended in both Sports Bar and Beach Club categories, too.
On the top deck, you’ll find the club’s famous gigantic telly, always showing the day’s choice match or event – and the bar has a particular penchant for footie and a spot of rugger during the major tournaments.
Its huge, central tiki hut-esque bar is also surrounded by smaller screens and inside, you’ll find yet more screens, making this a dream of a sports bar on Saturday and Sunday.
On the lower deck, another bar and recently opened swimming pool make this a chilled-out spot for beachgoers throughout the week, and the mass of sand adds to the relaxed vibe.
But Barasti is also capable of throwing a pumping party, and does so with brilliant regularity. International DJs head into town regularly and thousands of beach-going party people can dance the night away barefoot on the sand.
It’s one of the city’s most famous spots for a reason.
The bottom line
Longstanding nightspot that’s as good as ever.
When you think of bars in JBR, you’d be forgiven for not knowing where to begin nowadays. Among the swathes of new and exciting openings in recent months stands this relatively old kid on the block.
Sitting opposite the perennially popular Tr!beca Kitchen + Bar at the JA Ocean View Hotel, warning people away yet inciting intrigue with its industrial (and entirely self-titled) exterior, sits Girders.
Upon arrival at this JBR sports bar (which, the more we think about it, is something of a rarity), our first impression is underwhelming – on the face of things there’s not much more to it than a square room, a corner bar and a bunch of TV screens. However, after discovering the range of beverages available during a fairly decent happy hour, our waiter ushers us away from a desolate and eerily quiet interior to a more densely populated, upstairs terrace.
And it’s really cool. There’s an open barbecue pit, a huge screen, an outside bar, long benches and a talented singer/guitarist providing a chilled-out ambience.
There are definitely worse places to spend an evening, and we imagine it’s great for kick-off.
The bottom line
A relaxed spot for live music and sport.
Though often overlooked since the arrival of Palm Jumeirah’s restaurant strip Club Vista Mare in late 2016, Aussie bar and restaurant Bidi Bondi has soldiered on, and still commands a loyal following. It just has to work that little bit harder to get the newbies in.
Indoors, bench tables lend a stadium-style feel when there’s a match beamed onto the big screen, while booths towards the back of the bar present an easy way to escape the action (and fill your face with nachos, if you know what’s good for you).
Service, though initially hard to lasso, is largely speedy and efficient, and prices are keen for the Palm (around Dhs40 for a decent glass of grape). Better still are some of the deals, including the Palm Weekend offer on Fridays and Saturdays, with five drinks, or four drinks and a meal, for just Dhs145.
It may not be as polished as its newer Palm rivals, but it certainly offers better value than most.
The bottom line
Laid-back Aussie spot by the beach.
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