Dubai: The FIFA World Cup Qatar officially kicked off on November 20 with a spectacular opening ceremony. The tournament will last until December 18. Qatar is expecting to host a million football fans during the tournament and the UAE is also expecting heavy footfall ahead of, and during the tournament.
The UAE is set to be a hub for fans headed to the region with the already sold-out accommodation options in Qatar. Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports expect FIFA-related traffic to skyrocket this season. Dubai will be “the major gateway” to the World Cup with probably more people coming through the city than Qatar, Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports told Bloomberg earlier this year.
And if you’re not heading to Qatar, there’s no need to feel left out from all the action. Incredible fanzones have been opening up across the UAE which offer not only live screening of all matches, but also a chance to revel in the spirit of football with fun activities, shopping and merchandise, and food and beverage packages.
Here’s a list of where to go to enjoy the matches right here in the UAE, and we’ll keep updating this list throughout the tournament.
BudX FIFA Fan Festival
One of only three flagship fan festivals for the tournament, the Dubai version of BudX FIFA Fan Festival will be held at dubai Harbour. Tickets start at Dh78 and can be purchased on PlatinumList. The venue can host a whopping 10,000 fans every day. Fans can watch the matches live on custom-designed gigantic 330sqm screens featuring cutting edge 4D audio.
There is also the exclusive massive 1,050sqm experiential and interactive Al Rihla Arena by adidas. The adidas space will see a massive screen with live matches broadcasted and a packed schedule of immersive activities, there will never be a dull moment for fans as they meet their favourite legends and even get an opportunity to play with them. Visitors can enjoy hair stencil spray customisation, face painting with country colours and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities in the adidas Players’ Lounge as well as shop for customisable and localised merchandise.
Tickets are now available at Dh75, which includes all-day access to the general area and the matches.
adidas Family House, The Dubai Mall
adidas has opened 300sqm floating family house for fans in The Dubai Mall’s lagoon offering an experiential retail space, programming and activations. The house will be active until December 18 and will feature a line up of global and local ambassadors
The Football Park at DIFC, Dubai
The best of both worlds – at this DIFC fanzone you can expect to enjoy the matches on one of 30 screens in an outdoor setting with incredible views of the Dubai skyline. Visitors to the fanzone must book in advance, and packages are fully redeemable on food and beverages at the venue. Packages start at Dh350 per person.
Expo City Dubai
For a family-friendly atmosphere, Expo City Dubai will host one of the largest football fan zones in the city. This massive football-themed Fan City will be divided into two sections. A family-friendly space at Jubilee Park that can accommodate up to 10,000 guests will be open from 20 November. In addition, an elite experience at Al Wasl that can seat up to 2,500 guests will open on 3 December. As part of the festivities, Fan City will see exciting activities like tabletop games, penalty kick activations and face-painting for little ones, along with live sets by local DJs and food trucks.
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
This property features large TV screens at Anchor Brew & Grill, as well as huge LED screens at the private beach area, set up exclusively for the season. DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island also offers specially curated meals and deals for fans starting at Dh79 per person. The property is also offering unlimited free popcorn for viewers.
M One Terrace, Dubai
Take your football night up a notch at this venue which is offering a live outdoor BBQ, including marinated beef steaks, chicken skewers, meat kebabs, and an a la carte menu. If enjoying the match as a group, you can book a whopping 10kg burger to share, to be ordered in advance. The Big Burger also makes an appearance to encourage more fun with your friends. This 10kg beast, which must be ordered a day in advance, is a great sharing option as you cheer your team on.
Arena by Palazzo Versace, Dubai
Set up across the sprawling lawns of the hotel’s Como Garden with a backdrop of the iconic Dubai Creek, Arena by Palazzo Versace offers an al fresco fan zone experience for guests. Moreover, guests at Arena stand a chance to win tickets to the group matches until the final.
Crafty Fox Gastropub, Dubai
This Jumeirah Golf Estates venue has 20 indoor screens, along with a dedicated FIFA tent outside with two mega screens, and spectacular views of the golf course. Packages start at Dh360 for groups of six.
Copthorne Lakeview Hotel, Dubai
This hotel has an exclusive Fan Zone which kicks off on November 18. The property has various packages, menus and competitions in store for visitors. Minimum spend starts at Dh50 per person for bean bags and Dh150 per person for pool access.
Majlis Al Sultan, Dubai
Majlis Al Sultan in both of their locations, Al Ferdous 3 on Al Wasl Road and City Center Me’aisem in Dubai Production City, will screen the matches. With both indoor and outdoor seating, the Al Wasl branch features private screens for each table. At the Me’aisem branch, seven giant LCD screens will feature multiple games. Minimum spend is Dh75 for group stages and Round of 16, while the minimum spend will rise to Dh125 for quarters, semis and finals.
Vox Cinemas, across UAE
In Dubai, and in locations across the UAE, Vox Cinemas will screen all the matches live with beIN SPORTS. You can book to see one, three or five matches, or a complete season pass. The tickets start at Dh59 per person for one match.
Roxy Cinemas, Dubai
Football fans can watch the matches on the biggest screen in the region at the Roxy Xtreme. Found in the new Roxy Cinemas at Dubai Hills Mall and measuring 423 square meters, the Roxy Xtreme screen is large enough to fit 154 football teams. Or you could head to any of the Roxy Cinema locations for the live screening, commentary for which will be available in English and Arabic. Tickets start from Dh85 per person.
Reel Cinemas, across Dubai
At Reel Cinemas in Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Mall, the matches will be streamed live with beIN on Dolby Atmos and 4K screens. All the Reel Cinemas locations will feature special F&B packages throughout the tournament starting at Dh27. There are also competitions for fans booking to watch the games.
La Mer, Dubai
At this iconic location, restaurants Al Shorfa and Aprons and Hammers will screen the games live. The Roxy Cinemas location at La Mer and Train Beach Club will also have live streaming of the matches.
[u]bk, JLT, Dubai
Watch all the games live across four big LED screens amongst other TV screens in the restaurant for the ultimate football fans experience. Food and beverage offerings start at Dh33, and there also sharing and group packages available.
VZ’s Football Fan Zone, Dubai
At Fairmont The Palm guests can experience a fun football atmosphere in the quirky pub and extended themed football pitch, with themed food and drinks deals, matches shown on a giant screen alongside daily live entertainment. The special menu offers start at Dh60.
Fluid Beach Club, Dubai
Th8 Palm’s Fluid Beach Club will screen all the matches live throughout the month, on the large outdoor screens alongside the stunning Palm Jumeirah and Dubai skyline backdrop. The minimum spend here is Dh150 per person.
SLS Stadium, Dubai
SLS Dubai is, literally, taking the action to the skies as it transforms its 75th-floor rooftop and Privilege into the SLS Stadium. The unique football experience will offer guests and spectators immersive amenities, a sports bar, and a fan zone for football enthusiasts to enjoy while watching the matches.
Dubai Creek Resort, Dubai
Fans can head to Dubai Creek Resort and catch the sporting action at QD’s Bar & Grill and Lakeview’s new dedicated fan zones, complete with live broadcast of sports from around the world and a variety of dining choices.
Chelsea Arms, Dubai
Counted among Dubai’s oldest and best-loved pubs, the Chelsea Arms at Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Suites is perfect to combine your football viewing experience with a curated snack menu and the old-school sports pub vibe. Guests will also have the chance to win exclusive merchandise, and offers including bucket deals and a late-night happy hour. The minimum spend is Dh100 per person and reservation is required.
Horse & Hound, Al Habtoor Polo Resort, Dubai
This pub is known for its football streaming, so World Cup screenings here are a no-brainer. Enjoy the matches on large screens while snacking on pub grub and beverages.
Stadium Fan Zone at City Walk, Dubai
The Stadium Fan Zone will be located near the Green Planet in City Walk. The venue is spread over 3,200 sq.m., and features a 16m x 6m screen for true life-size screening of the matches. The venue promises to being in the spirit of the World Cup with live celebrations of each goal, family-friendly activations, memorabilia shops and more. Parking is free.
Offside, JA Ocean View Hotel, Dubai
Ahead of the World Cup, 25 high-definition TVs have been placed inside the Offside Bar at the JA Ocean View Hotel, which offers semi-private booths for the optimal group viewing experience. The booths have a capacity of ten, while the bar can host 275 at a time.
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Dubai
Enjoy watching the World Cup matches on large screens set outdoors at the property’s Soleil Pool & Lounge, where alfresco season calls for live BBQ selections, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and range of refreshing beverages to cool down. The minimum spend is Dh200 per person. Or you could head to The Nine, for an elevated pub experience while watching your favourite teams clash on the big screen
City Centre Mirdif Stadium, Dubai
A family-friendly fan zone on its rooftop, City Centre Mirdif can host 700 people with a dual-match-screening zone along with a F&B zone. The area will also host football-themed activations, kid-friendly activities, and games. While entrance for the first 13 days of the tournament, from November 20 to December 2 is free, tickets for round of 16 (3 December onwards) will cost between Dh50 and Dh150. Tickets are fully redeemable against food and beverages.
JW Marriot Marquis, Dubai
Head over to JW Marriott Marquis Dubai and catch all the live football action at the hotel’s two sports bar venues, Bridgewater Tavern and Café Artois at Bridgewater Tavern, overlooking the iconic Dubai Canal.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
This fanzone promises a ‘massive screen, ample seating, coastal cuisines and live entertainment.’ Known for its relaxed vibes, Nikki Beach Fanzone takes advantage of the now cooler weather to offer a beachside setting to enjoy the football matches live. Table rates start at Dh500.
Bosporus, Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Throughout the tournament, Bosporus’s branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will screen the games live along with a menu showcasing authentic Ottoman cuisine and hot Turkish tea.
Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
With 40 LCD TV screens indoors, outdoor LED screens, and three standard outdoor TV screens covering every corner of the terrace area, you can catch more than two matches at a time at Claw BBQ Ras Al Khaimah. Available from November 21 onwards, the Dh100 ticket to watch the games is fully redeemable on food and beverages. Fans also get special discounts and packages.
Address Beach Resort, Dubai
With a fully airconditioned Football Fan Zone Tent, Address Beach Resort is going all out for football fans. With a seating capacity of 250, the tent will have multiple screens. The Dh50 entry ticket is fully redeemable on food and beverages.
Club Vista Mare, Logs and Embers, Dubai
Here, you can enjoy views of the beach while catching the matches live at Logs and Embers’ outdoor screening. The fare is American barbecue.
The Pointe, Dubai
Make a day of it and catch the matches live at Reel Cinemas, The Pointe after enjoying the world’s largest fountain display. Enjoy the games with their tournament-special packages starting at Dh55. Dh99 gets you the screening and select F&B offerings.
Visitors can enjoy the thrilling football games at one of the city’s most popular beachfront entertainment destinations. A well-known Dubai hotspot to catch live sports, Barasti will be pulling out all stops to ensure fans have the time of their lives.
Yas Island Fanzone, Abu Dhabi
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has set up the ultimate football fan watch-spot with the Yas Island Fanzone – FIFA World Cup Viewing Experience with a daily hosting capacity of 2,000. Located on Yas Links, Yas Island Abu Dhabi, the 10,000 sqm dedicated fan space was created in partnership with Miral and AB INBEV.
The main viewing zone will feature a giant LED screen, measuring 16 x 9 metres, making it one of the largest outdoor screens in the country. With all games shown live, the supporting fanzone programme is jampacked with family-friendly experiences, including specialist commentary, crowd and community competitions and non-stop entertainment. Tiered entry options are available with General Admission passes costing Dh50, All Game Access passes at Dh95, and Season passes at Dh950. Tickets can be bought on Platinumlist.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Dubai
Situated within the Dubai Marina, the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, will create a “˜mega fan zone’ for the tournament. The outdoor venue will have several screens and separate fan zones offering different amenities. The destination provides epic views of the Ain Dubai and no age restriction or entry fee.
Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Dubai
Up to 550 guests can enjoy five-star service as part of this Fan Zone’s sports viewing experience. Watch the matches on a giant screen, while enjoying the property’s infinty pool and dining packages. Minimum spend is Dh100 which gets you a basic package including beverages, but you could also splurge as a group on a Platinum or Gold VIP experience for Dh2500 and Dh1200 per table respectively.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
With the magnificent backdrop of the Museum of the Future, the screen perched in the outdoor area at Jumeirah Emirates Towers will offer a stunning locale to enjoy the matches. Luxury-loving football fans can enjoy cuisine crafted by Executive Chef Reiner Lupfer at the awe-inspiring sporting destination.
The Square, Dubai Sports City
The Square at ISD – an open-air venue located within Dubai Sports City – promises to offer an unforgettable match-day experience for 5,000 football fans. Multiple giant screens will be propped up around the area, ensuring prime viewing from every spot throughout the tournament. Fans can also book a spacious VIP area complete with gourmet dishes and butler service, perfect for corporate bookings or those looking for an indulgent outing.
Dukes the Palm, Dubai
A 150-inch LCD screen is being set up at the hotel’s Great British Restaurant ahead of the World Cup. The restaurant is being converted into a football fanzone, along with a menu fit for game night.
Soul Beach Dubai
Yet another beach club on the list, Soul Beach will feature two screens at the poolside and beach area. For the ultimate beach-side lounge experience, fans can book beds, cabanas, pergola seating, or restaurant tables. Rates start at Dh300 per person.
Press Play Fanzone, Ibn Battuta, Dubai
A 250sq metre screen is what this fanzone at Precision Football, Ibn Battuta is promising football lovers, screening all 63 games with a menu that can be served table-side. Fans can book tables, customised dugouts or VIP platforms with individual screens. The venue is also set to welcome Aitch and AJ Tracey for a live concert on December 3.
Zero Gravity, Dubai
For a dedicated fan zone at the beach, football fanatics can head to Zero Gravity, which will have a giant screen broadcasting all the matches.
McGettigan’s at Dubai Media City
Those looking forward to football’s most exciting tournament can expect a buzzing, action-packed Fanzone by McGettigan’s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The Irish hangout is going all out to install what is touted to be UAE’s largest screen at the open-air site so that fans can get the ultimate experience. There will be plenty of food trucks, activities for the little ones, soccer activations and daily live music programmes at the fan village.
Aloft Al Mina, Dubai
High Note Aloft Mina will screen all the games on a 192-inch screen, and the venue has an infinity pool which offers a panoramic view of Dubai. The lounge also has FIFA-special deals.
Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, Dubai
All visitors get free entry to the dedicated fan zone, dubbed ‘Football Deck’ by Belgian Café Dubai Festival City, at Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City. Two screens will play the games live, one at the Belgian Café and one on the terrace of Crowne Plaza with views of the creek and the city. There is a dedicated area for groups that want a more private atmosphere.
Occidental Hotel, Al Jaddaf, Dubai
One Music Lounge will screen games live on four screens, one of which is a big one, and the restaurant promises that the surround sound will make you feel as though you were in the stadium. F&B deals are also available.
Old Castello, Jumeirah One
Featuring Indo-Arabic fare, this restaurant will screen games on one big projector screen and 13 LED screens. While there is no entry free, the minimum spend on the menu is Dh100 which includes a welcome beverage and starter.
Soho Garden Meydan, Dubai
Soho Garden Meydan’s Mega Fan Zone will broadcast all fixtures live on big screens, allowing visitors to cheer their team alongside thousands of fellow fans.