Here are the best sports bars in Dubai and the best places to watch live sport in Dubai in 2020.
Barasti is coastal behemoth of a bar and is a brilliant place for both live sports and live music. For those Saturday afternoon kick-offs few things in Dubai offer a better view of the action than Barasti’s unfeasibly large central screen. Then a couple of dozen other screens line the inside and outside too, for good measure making it a longstanding favourite when it comes to the best sports bars in Dubai.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-1.30am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 318 1313).
A previous winner of Time Out Dubai's Best Sports Bar in Dubai awards, this underground pub has got screens (and affordable drinks) in abundance. A great happy hour with good-value pints adds to the intimate charm of this relaxed, unpretentious pub in Bur Dubai. PS4 in the corner, accompanied by a massive screen, and a dozen other screens showing pretty much every conceivable match under the sun.
Open daily noon-3am. Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 501 2533).
Bidi Bondi is a proper fun-loving Aussie sports bar. Found on the beach-level of the Palm’s Shoreline Apartments, Bidi Bondi’s is home to several massive, wall-smothering projectors, as well as a dozen or so other TV screens that swarm around the central, four-sided bar. This Palm Jumeirah sports bar is no frills fun at its best, and it’s especially brilliant whenever there’s rugby on. Rivalries, banter, but ultimately there's all friendly fun to be found here.
Open Sun-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. Shoreline Apartments 3, Palm Jumeirah (04 425 0515).
This is a real, proper pub but it's also one of the best places to watch sport in Dubai. Found in Barsha Heights, Crown & Lion is full of wooden panels, real pumps, dart boards, football shirts in glass frames and tonnes of screens around every corner, nook and cranny. Tribal allegiances notwithstanding, this is a great place to catch any match because it gets a real, footy-mad crowd in week in, week out. It's also the winner of Time Out Dubai's best pub food 2020 award, so be sure to grab a bite to eat while you're there.
Open daily 11am-3am. Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 448 8000).
A taste of Ireland, and what could arguably be the most authentic Irish pub in Dubai is found round the back of Saeed Tower One on Sheikh Zayed Road. Cracking food, bargain value at that too, and real pints of the black stuff make Fibber Magee's a great place to catch the match. It’s full of wooden, mismatched furniture and old carpets, and simply needs a handful of wall-mounted screens to make this a great match-day experience and one of the most laid-back places to watch sport in Dubai. Don't miss the pub grub either, it's top-notch.
Open daily 8am-2am. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).
Probably the antithesis of Fibber Magee’s, garden on 8 is a huge, spacious, modern sports bar in Dubai's Media City with a huge terrace and equally massive screen outside. It’s great on match day, sure, but this place is a different beast entirely when the major championships come around.
Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
In the huge sports complex in sports city, this spacious sports bar in Dubai Sports City is a top spot during the game. There are screens all over the place and a super-value happy hour definitely help, of course, but this bar (while a bit tricky to find on your first visit) shows practically every sport under the sun, and it’s proper lively, too.
Open Sun-Wed 1pm-2am, Thu-Sat noon-2am. Dubai Sports City (04 448 1001).
Ah, McGettigan’s. A legendary Dubai haunt found at JLT, this pub is more than a decade old and continues to draw in the punters left, right and centre every week. It doesn’t rest on its laurels, either, following recent refurbishments to its huge garden terrace and the space formerly known as The Baggot. There are a couple of dozen screens, high and low, big and small, and there’s always a top laugh to be had here, and it's also a decent place to watch sport.
Open Sun-Fri noon-3am, Sat 11am-3am. Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster J, JLT (04 356 0470).
One of the newer additions to the JBR nightlife scene, Offside is a top sports bar in Dubai with an upstairs terrace bar with an enormous, retina-stunning screen at one end. There’s some great barbecue grub to be had here to go hand-in-hand with your reasonably-priced pint while you crook your neck to view as many of the big TVs lining the bar as possible.
Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri-Sun 12.30pm-3am. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (04 814 5590).
Another top-drawer Irish pub, this Garhoud institution has been a long-standing favourite in Dubai for what must be eons now. Nooks and crannies, old wooden fittings, the smell of fresh varnish, a projector at one end and a tonne of signed Celtic shirts illustrate where allegiances lie here when kick off comes at the weekend or late in the midweek, one of Dubai's best pubs, and one of the best sports bars in Dubai.
Open daily noon-2am. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).