Cheer your team on in the ultimate football-themed atmosphere…

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is in full swing and there is no shortage of venues where you can catch the year’s biggest sporting tournament live as it happens – we should know, we made a massive list of them.

But for every local pub and chic nightclub that’s broadcasting all the games, there’s no better way to really immerse yourself in all the drama and delight of ‘the beautiful game’ than to head down to one of the massive fan zones in Dubai that have been purpose-built for the occasion.

We’re talking about thousands of eager footie fans, jam packed like sardines, cheering and sweating every goal, dive and dodgy referee call. If that sounds like the kind of World Cup experience you want to partake in, then take a look at these six ultimate World Cup fan zones…

Atlantis World Cup Fan Zone

With a capacity of more than  2,000 cheering fans, the Atlantis World Cup tent has an electric atmosphere that rivals the stadiums themselves. Split into two zones: ‘The Stadium’ is where  die-hard fans can watch all the action on an enormous 28 sq metre screen, while ‘The Beach’ offers a more chilled out vice complete with casual seating and a PlayStation corner.

Both areas offer a comprehensive licensed F&B menu with stadium-style snacks, hops buckets and drink deals including a wide selection of draught hops, wine and spirits. Fun for fans of all ages, the tent also features a painting station, a state-of-the-art VR football experience and the chance to win  a trip to Russia or the ultimate getaway at Atlantis

Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, daily 14 June to 15 July, Dhs100 for guys, free for ladies. Tel: (04) 426 1000

XL Dubai

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Chic Dubai Marina party spot XL Dubai will be broadcasting all the nail-biting action live on two massive screens and six LED screens for unfettered World Cup viewing. While not as large as the other venues in this list, XL Dubai more than makes up for it in atmosphere, letting you blow off steam between halves with DJs, dance shows, drink deals and more.

With BOGO offers available during the breaks, Dhs150 for a buckets of five beers and daily football competitions, you’ll be partying on long after the final whistle is blown.

XL Dubai, Habtoor Grand, Dubai Marina, daily June 14 to July 15, Dhs70 plus 2 drinks, Dhs100 plus 3 drinks. Tel: (04) 454 2927.

Barasti Superdome

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If you’re looking for ‘big’ then it doesn’t get any bigger than the Superdome at popular beachside bar Barasti. Able to fit up to 8,000 eager footie fans under one electrifying roof, the air-conditioned dome is built across two levels, with fan zones on both the beach and an air-conditioned middle deck.

Entry is completely free and you can bathe in the frenzy of the World Cup atmosphere thanks to giant screens, live DJs and special effects.

Barasti Beach, Le Meridien Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, daily June 14 – July 15, free entry. Tel:(04) 318 1313

The Last Stand Football Fan Park

What better place is there to watch the year’s biggest sporting tournament than in the heart of Dubai Sports City? Located at The Dome, this fully-licensed football fan park has set up camp for the duration of the tournament broadcasting all the action on three massive screens.

Cheer on your favourite team with other fans in the 21+ main area, or bring the young’uns along to the family friendly area that includes games like giant jenga, foosball and human foosball. Tickets start at Dhs120 per person per match, with table bookings of up to eight people available.

The Last Stand Football Fan Park, The Dome, Dubai Sports City, daily June 14 to July 15, from Dhs120 per match. Tel: (05) 4778 8842.

Football Central

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This giant two-storey tent erected bang in the middle of the Emirates Golf Club offers 12 extra-large screens to watch every jaw-dropping free kick and heart wrenching red card in a comfortable air-conditioned setting.

Entry is free with F&B offers starting at just Dhs475 for a four-person snack platter and eight drinks vouchers, while teams of 10 can feast on two snack platters with 20 beverage vouchers.

Football Central, Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, daily 14 June to 15 July. Tel: (04) 417 9999.

Fairmont The Palm

The lavish Fairmont hotel on the Palm is hosting its own dedicated World Cup tent, complete with all the trimmings. Fully air-conditioned with a stocked beverages and bites menu, there’s a giant screen centre stage with multiple TVs dotted about so you never miss any action.

Themed to perfection, expect referee-dressed bartenders, and special offers on food (including nachos and beef sliders) and beverages all night.

Palm Courtyard, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, daily June 14 to July 15, Dhs 95 per person. Tel: (04) 457 3457

The Penthouse

Want a 5-star VIP World Cup experience? Then The Penthouse on the rooftop of the stylish FIVE Palm Jumeirah is your best bet. Transformed into a snazzy transparent tent for the tournament, the ultra-chic bar features a full lineup of entertainment including live matches, competitions and pool parties.

Multiple TV screens broadcast every match live as it happens, accompanied by DJs and percussionists for a stadium-like atmosphere.

The Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jumeirah, daily June 14 to July 15, free (minimum spend on VIP bookings). Tel: (04) 455 9989.

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