Best sports bars in Dubai

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...
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...

04 427 0515 Palm Jumeirah

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.

04 346 1111 Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

Since opening back in October 2009, Loca has become a go-to for football and Mexican food fans alike. While many others have since opened in the city to stake a claim on the casual Latin American bar scene, few have matched this Jumeirah 1 institution’s success (even the opening of Loca 2.0 in Souk Al Bahar failed to knock the original off its perch).

Friday afternoons, during the venue’s excellent-value brunch, are among the times when you’ll find this place at its swinging best (at Dhs270 for a brunch running noon until 5pm, it’s not hard to see why, but doing the brunch is not obligatory). Live band Big Mouth play singalong acoustic covers while waiters ferry jugs of frozen Mexican mixed drinks across the room and knock together fresh bowls of guacamole tableside.

Prices are reasonable, particularly during the daily happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, and there’s the option to book your own table with a tap and ten-litre keg. Bar snacks too are superb – try the oozy, house-made stuffed jalapeños or aforementioned guac – while service is swift and quick to remember a face.

Whether to catch a match or people-watch on a weekend, Loca is still among our top picks.

The bottom line
A relative oldie, an absolute goodie.

D&A

PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Amid the dozens of annual venue openings on the ever-changing face of Dubai’s nightlife scene stands a rare, long-standing institution. D&A, the bar formerly known as Dhow & Anchor, stands as proud today as it did when it opened in 1997 (even if the décor has changed quite dramatically since then).

This British-inspired sports-bar-meets-gastropub is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and continues to serve up a broad array of beverages and offers to accompany its many TV screens showing the latest kick-off.

Following a refurbishment in 2013, the bar is now looking sleek and shiny and exhibits a youthfulness that belies its years. Expect friendly service, a lively atmosphere, cosy Saturday afternoons reminiscent of an English pub and a happy hour featuring one or two premium beverages you’re unlikely to find at other happy hours in the city.

While its atmosphere is welcoming and its décor trendy, it’s the vistas outside that define this bar. Head for sundowners and bask in iconic views of the Burj Al Arab, complete with palm tree silhouettes and orange skies. Perfect.

The bottom line
A Dubai institution with stunning views.

04 378 0800 Sheikh Zayed Road

This branch of the Irish pub is just as much an institution as the JLT original. It gets busy and pulls in a diverse, lively crowd.

There are the sports fans who, on match days, are truly the making of this place. They’re passionate and emit some good vibes – the venue took home our Highly Commended Sports Bar accolade at this year’s Music & Nightlife Awards for good reason.

Then (thanks to its location just down the road from the World Trade Centre halls), there’s the post-event crowd, whose spirits are kept high by the DJ pumping out some solid hip-hop tunes and good, singalong chart-toppers, mixed in for good measure. It has that please-all aesthetic, but in a very good way.

It’s not exactly cheap – a pint of hops will set you back Dhs43 with a glass of grape ringing in at Dhs45 – but there are some good deals to take advantage of – happy hour Sunday to Thursday offering drinks from Dhs29, 2pm to 7pm, and That Thirst-Day Feeling with drinks from Dhs19 every Thursday from 4pm to 9pm, being just two.

Whether it’s the deals, the sport or keeping the spirit of a good show alive, this is the bar to make a beeline for.

The bottom line

An upbeat sports bar that caters to all.

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