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32 of the best places to watch the World Cup in Abu Dhabi

It’s coming, just next door to, home…

Taking place just once every four years, the football World Cup is undoubtedly the beautiful game’s biggest stage and most coveted prize. And with it taking place just down the road, the fever pitch feels are all the more feverous for us this time around. The tournament takes place between November 20 and December 18, so expect the deals outline below to follow the same schedule (unless otherwise specified).

This list is for all of you that enjoy the odd 35 yard screamer, cursing VAR at the bar, or debating whether Mbappe could find it in his locker to ‘make the magic happen’ on a cold rainy night in Stoke — we have put together a round up featuring the happiest hours on comfiest couches; dedicated, huge capacity fan zones; a collection of monster-sized screens; and peak fan atmosphere whether your team’s journey ends in cheers or tears.

We’ll keep updating until the final whistle blows, so make sure you keep checking back in for the latest news on…

The best places in Abu Dhabi to watch the World Cup in

Giant fan zones

Yas Links Golf Course

As soccer pop-ups go, this 10,000sqm fan zone is table topper. And a quick look at the team sheet reveals some impressive stats — there’s a daily hosting capacity of 2,000 supporters, with a mammoth LED screen, measuring 16 x 9 metres (that’s about the same size as the floor plan to a small house). Other confirmed features include e-sports competitions (including, naturally, PS5 football gaming), food, beverage and retail outlets, a stage and roaming entertainment. General Admission will cost Dhs50, with an all Game Access Pass available at Dhs95, and there’s a season ticket for Dhs950. Big Leagues. There’s also a VIP shisha lounge with options for table bookings. abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net

Foggs Food Hall Yas Bay

Yas Bay Waterfront jazz

Launching in November, the new Fogg’s Food Hall is an extension of the locally renowned outlet in Phileas Foggs, in Dubai’s Emirates Hills. This will be the first food hall in Abu Dhabi and one of the biggest in the region. Guests will be able to watch the World Cup live, whilst tasting the flavours of 16 different cuisines. More details on this incredibly exciting new venue soon.

Yas Bay, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, opens November

Al Ain Square

This central alfresco Al Ain spot has had a solid nutmeg of Fan Zone-ification for the World Cup. There are several big screens including one mega chonk, that measures up at 10m by 6m. You’ll be able to get drinks obviously, there’s an international selection of food and a dedicated kids zone.

Adults Dhs20, kids over four Dhs10. platinumlist.net 

Etihad Flights

When you’re sat in aisle Z, watching a match from a flat bed — that’s amazing. Etihad Airways will be screening all the World Cup matches live and onboard with their E-BOX entertainment channels Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra. The service is available on the airline’s wide-body aircraft which covers routes to destinations in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and Africa with its hub, of course, in Abu Dhabi.

Spot food truck locations

Spot has a number of food truck hubs throughout the UAE, but two of its Abu Dhabi locations have netted their own World Cup fan zone. Both Al Shamkha and Neimah, will be showing all the matches with giant screens, live entertainment, comfy outdoor seating and the easy pre-ordering snack and drinks through the Spot Drive Thu App. What’s On the menu? Food from such bg name local brands as SALT, Krush Burger, Wingstop, DOH, Saddle and more.

Al Forsan

Appaloosa

With all the calorie battering activities available at the famous sports resort just next door, it’s fair to say that Marriott Al Forsan has competition hardwired into its circuitry. A perfect place then to come and scream incoherent coaching direction at screens, whilst your team inexplicably fail to magically hear you. You can also sink stripes and spots on the pool table, roll the dice on a boardgame or two and make merry with daily happy hour deals. Weekday happy timings are midday to 7pm with an extended 10am to 7pm session on weekends.

Marriott Hotel Al Forsan. Tel: (02) 201 4131, @marriottalforsan

Al Maryah Island

Loca

Just for the Waka Waka of it all, The Galleria Al Maryah Island is errecting a massive screen on their Waterfront Promenade. It’ll be showing all the crucial clashes in gloriously rendered mega pixels, and one of the best ways to watch is by booking a table at lit Latin restaurant Loca. There’s a Dhs150 per head minimum spend but zero cover charge and it means you get to enjoy some genuinely fuego tacos with the on screen tackles. They’ve also got a special menu in honour of the Copa de Mundo – featuring fan favourite bites such as fajitas and burgers.  thegalleria.ae

Zsa Zsa Lounge

For a more fancy sort of fan experience, the sophistcated supporter set head to the Four Seasons. Here you’ll get a choice of views – 65 inch scereens showing the creme of international football, or waterfront skyline views. There’s a daily 4pm to 7pm happy hour, craft cocktails and a menu filled with soccer spectating snacks. fourseasons.com

Al Maqta

Cooper’s

Cooper’s is a firm favourite (that’s unchanging favourite, not ‘The Old Firm’s favourite) for sports fans in the capital and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a handsome hang spot with large screens — making the referee a big enough target to hurl whatever life advice you might deem appropriate at. They’ve got some great deals for the international footie fest too, including buckets of beer for Dhs95, and there’ll be games, with the opportunity to win prizes, run throughout the tournament.

Park Rotana, Park Rotana Complex Road, near Khalifa Park, open daily midday to 2am. Tel: (02) 657 3317, @parkrotana

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Ooh-ah Shangri-La, we said ooh-ah Shangri-La. That’s our terrace chant and we’re sticking with it. It’s all in honour of the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi’s luxurious Football Village — a beachside soccer supporter’s paradise with table topping deals, authentic match atmosphere feels, and fan events of multinational appeal. The Football Village Day Pass really does allow you to make a day of it. It’s Dhs100 and includes two drinks as well as a cheeky permission slip for beach access — because whether your team are destined to win or lose, a day spent lounging by the sea is absolute ‘best life’ goals. They’re also offering a special Saturday brunches, inter-match quizes, a comedy cup and the opportunity to win some massive prizes.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Maqta, Nov 20 to Dec 18 daily 1pm to 1am, Dhs100 (includes two drinks and beach access). Tel: (02) 509 8555, restaurantreservations.slad@shangri-la.comshangrilaexperiences.com

Bridges Bar

Bridges Bar fairmont bab al bahr

Bridges Bar at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr may be relatively boutique in size, but its screens are still pretty massive and that’s important when it comes to choosing your spectating spot for a match. They also have a daily 4pm to 8pm happy hour (two-for-one on select drinks) and a pretty big Saturday and Sunday deal that will net you two pints of hops for just Dh1 when purchased with any main course. With the fact that also includes their giant burgers — we’ll mark that up as a cheeky hattrick of reasons to visit.

Bridges Bar, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, 8pm to 11pm, Dhs99. Tel: (02) 654 3238, @bridgesbar.abudhabi

Al Raha

Al Raha Beach Hotel

Here you’ll find big screens showing every kick, header, save and speculative half-line volley with both indoor and alfresco seating to make the most of the UAE’s great outdoor season. In addition to a solid team sheet of beer and beverage options, the fan village at Al Raha Beach Hotel will include a series of food stalls, adding to the festival atmosphere. Here you and the squad can choose to support sport snack MVPs such as hot dogs, sliders, tacos and of course — local casual cuisine G.O.A.T, the shawarma. Entry is completely free, and to streamline the food and beverage service, a coupon system will be in place.

Al Raha Beach Hotel,  Channel Street, Al Raha Creek, daily 1pm to 1am (World Cup dates: Nov 20 to Dec 18).  Tel: (056) 545 0145 or fnb.alraha@danathotels.com

Corniche

Emirates Palace

There’s a right royal open-air, family-friendly World Cup viewing experience available at Emirates Palace’s Oriental Café. For a minimum spend of AED 180 per person you and your squad can watch the pitch-perfect action unfold live on a super-sized LED screen. In defense they’ve got four self-service culinary chalets, in the middle of the park, there are two bars, whilst out on the wing they’ve got face painting activities for the little ones. And going forward there’s a full ‘Stay Like a Champion’ hotel package which includes a night in the new Sea View rooms, daily breakfast, daily food and beverage credit of Dhs200 per person and a 60-minute spa treatment for up to two at The Hideaway by Emirates Palace Spa, all from Dhs3,800.

Emirates Palace, Corniche. Tel: (02) 2690 8888, @emiratespalace

B-Lounge and Tavern

With multiple outdoor screens to watch live-action, football fans will love the atmosphere at B-Lounge. Alternatively, famed Abu Dhabi pub, Tavern, offers indoor seating for a more intimate ambiance, along with a menu of pub grub, paired with refreshing drinks during the whole season.

B-Lounge and Tavern, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort. Tel: (0)2 677 3333. marriott.com

Le Meridien Village

With one of the largest outdoor LED screens in Abu Dhabi, Le Meridien Village will also have several seating options, in-theme food and beverages, live entertainment, and engaging side games keeping the sports spirit alive.

Le Meridien Village, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0)2 677 3333. marriott.com

West Bay

This Abu Dhabi beach club boasts an 800-metre coastline, and one of the largest outdoor LED screens in Abu Dhabi made for watching the game from one of the many pools. Enjoy uninterrupted live viewing from the VIP seats, with food and drinks packages available daily.

West Bay, Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0)54 586 4442. radissonbluhotels.com

Escape

Here you can enjoy live World Cup action from a pleasant poolside perch. There’s a tiered pricing structure for certain zones but pricing starts at Dhs100 (includes two drinks) or a two hour free-flow package for Dhs299. There are some great mid-match deals available including snacks from Dhs30, beer buckets from Dhs50, cocktails from Dhs50 and bottles of wine from Dhs150.

Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0)54 586 4442. radissonbluhotels.com

Downtown

Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi

Velocity Sports Bar at Marriott Downtown is all about those big match occasions, with a massive team sheet of 36 HD screens including the two biggest indoor football screens in the whole of Abu Dhabi. Velocity has a starting lineup of five special F&B deals running throughout the World Cup — there’s a daily 3pm to 8pm happy hour with select beverages from Dhs24; the Halftime Bites package nets you one selected starter and three selected house beverages for Dhs99;  The Slide Tackle offers a clean interception on three sliders and one pint of Dutch beer for Dhs99; you can opt for a cheeky One-Two which includes a portion of ribs and one selected draught beer for Dhs129; Or triple down on snack time with a hot streak Hat-Trick — one portion of loaded fries and two selected draught beers for Dhs99.

Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Al Tibbiya. Tel: (02) 304 7777, @marriottdowntownad

C.mondo Bar

Sprinting into the box with big screen TVs and some banging deals C.mondo is looking like a pundit’s top pick this season. There’s an all day, every day happy hour with select drinks at just Dhs25, combo deals, snack platter offers, as well as bargains on buckets and pitchers of hops. Taking things into stoppage time, the bar’s raffle gives you the opportunity to win wild prizes such as tickets to the WORLD CUP FINAL, and a PS5. On paper this has to be a fan favourite for the golden pint glass.

Centro Capital Centre, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, near ADNEC, noon to 1am daily. Tel: (02) 409 6514

Pj O’Reilly’s

There’s no surprise that this, one of the city’s best-loved Irish bars, also doubles as a natty little nook for watching the game of two halves. To supplement all sorts of sports viewing action, there are some outrageous specials available throughout the tournament — you can get three drinks for Dhs100, or five for Dhs150; bucket deals from Dhs125 and a burger and two pint deal for just Dhs99.

Pj O’Reilly’s, Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Street Al Markaziyah Area, Dhs100 minimum spend. Tel: (02) 695 0515

Victor’s

Located at the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi, Victor’s Pub is no last minute Irish Pub transfer, it’s been delivering absolute screamers into the top corner of the capital’s sports bar circuit for seasons. It’s earned its place in the squad, through years of cup-winning pub grub, big match atmosphere and skillful promotions (including lazy midday to 6pm Sunday breakfasts, unlimited wings nights, quiz nights, ladies nights and more). This is indeed, hallowed turf.

Victor’s Pub Abu Dhabi, Millennium Al Rawdah Hotel, 8am to 3am the following day, Tel: (02) 666 5508, @victorsabudhabi

Saadiyat

Hamilton’s

London-style sports bar Hamilton’s is found in Saadiyat Rotana, and because it’s also a gastropub, at half-time you can look forward to something a little more substantial than oranges cut into quarters. Pull up a seat in this art deco dude’s (and dudette) den, and score big discounts with a Tuesday to Friday 3pm to 7pm happy hour, and Sunday to Monday all day happy hour. There’s a pool table and nine massive screens replicating the perfect stadium atmosphere, match that against the hops combo deals and the weekend’s long lazy breakfasts (with free flow packages available) and it looks like Hamilton’s might just be headed for the final.

Saadiyat Rotana, Saadiyat Island, Fri to Sat 11am to 2am, Sun to Thu 4pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 697 0000, rotanatimes.com

Offside Sports Lounge

Found at the stunning Jumeirah at Saadiyat resort, this homage to sports reportage is kicking off your Saturday session with a brunch. Between midday and 5pm there’s a range of grilled delights. Want to take the competitive spirit off-screen and in-house — there’s a dart board and pool tables to flex your skills (or lack of) over. The Tuesday to Friday happy hour kicks off ar 5pm with the final whistle at 7pm and on weekends it’s a game of 1pm to 7pm.

Jumeirah at Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, soft package Dhs195, 1pm to 5pm. (02) 811 4342, jumeirah.com

Yas Island

Cafe Del Mar

A new meaning to the phrase ‘football pools’, this Balearic beat and beach club is offering a dive-in experience for watching World Cup games. A huge screen will be placed at the back of the lagoon offering the option of in-pool and lounger spectating, and presumably terrace chants of ‘you only swim when you’re winning”.

Yas Bay, gents Dhs150 entrance and one drink, ladies Dhs100 entrance and one drink. @cafedelmarabudhabi

LSB

Lock, Stock & Barrel is a year-round home to epic sporting fun, so it makes sense that this Abu Dhabi legend is set to be one of the biggest and best places to be during the World Cup. Promising to be loud, wild and crammed with big game atmosphere, across the huge sporting tournament, fans can expect live music, incredible deals, and overall fantastic vibes at Lock, Stock & Barrel. Huge projectors, screens everywhere, and festival-level partying mean that the month-long football frenzy is borderline guaranteed to score you a brilliant time. Heading up the capital’s team sheet – we have the Yas Bay venue, barely a year old — but already an MVP on Abu Dhabi’s entertainment circuit. Of course LSB will also have incredible deals and promotions on food and drink — because that’s what match winners do. There’ll be happy hour during certain games, allowing you to net 50 per cent off on selected drinks.

Lock, Stock and Barrel, Yas Bay, Yas Island, open daily from midday to 3am until round 16 of the World Cup. @lockstockuae

Belgian Café — Radisson Blu

Belgium, with its all-star golden generation team, are one of the favourites to take home football’s most coveted trophies this year. And like its common national namesake, we feel like this hugely popular venue is also a strong contender for glory over the World Cup. The Live Zone offers indoor and alfresco seating, big screen TVs and opportunities to win via a raffle. Deals include a beer bucket and bites combo for Dhs149; draught flights for Dhs129; a limo & lines (snacks and shooters) offer for Dhs199, and an ‘extra time’ nail biter – three hours of free-flow house beverages for Dhs249. Fingers crossed for no penalties.

Belgian Cafe at Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, from match time to midnight. Tel: (02) 656 2000, @bbcyasisland

Y Bar — Yas Island Rotana

Y isn’t just a question, it can also be an answer. We’re thinking here specifically of the question — where can I experience some electric soccer supporting atmosphere during the World Cup. Y Bar have installed a stunning big outdoor screen, which on Saturdays makes the perfect backdrop for their red hot barbecue bonanza. Throughout the week, you’ll be able to get on the scoresheet with F&B packages such as Penalty Dhs199 — 180 mins of football-esque appetizers and bottled brews; Penalty Dhs229 — 180 mins of thematic appetizers, draft brews and prosecco; Penalty Dhs249 — 180 mins of thematic appetizers, draft brews, prosecco and other house beverages; Corner Kick at Dhs123 — buckets of five bottled brews; Corner Kick at Dhs149 — bucket of five craft brews; and tables of 22 or more will net a 50 per cent dicount on selected food and drink menu items. Off pitch, frequenting fans will also enjoy live entertainment including the atmosphere enriching sounds of a DJ.

Y Bar at Yas Island Rotana, Yas Island, during games to midnight. Tel: (02) 656 4000, @ybar_yasislandrotana

Stills — Crowne Plaza Yas Island

When it comes to a night out, Stills always looks like scoring. And it’s somehow managed to up its game even further for the upcoming football festivities. There’s a special Budweiser Fan Zone offering top flight refreshment combos and special sharing platters. See if you can tackle their Budweiser Fan Zone “Party Package” —Pre-Match – 149 AED unlimited House Pour with One Bar Bite (2 hours prior to the match) and then 20 per cent off food and beverage during the match. Or shoot for the zone’s Platinum Party Package which includes four hours of free-flow, and two bar bites for Dhs349 per head. The World Cup sharing platters start at Dhs59 for one person, it’s Dhs99 for two or Dhs179 for four. You can also win by prizes racking up correct result predictions.

Stills Restaurant & Bar at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Yas Island, match time to midnight. Tel: (02) 656 3000, @stillsyasisland

Barouk — Crowne Plaza Yas Island

We end our tournament of tap-ins at Barouk. Hit up the breezy terrace for match companions of shisha and lush Levantine fare. The Heineken World Of Sports Party Package includes a Pre-Match option for Dhs149 which includes unlimited house pours with one bar bite (2 hours prior to the match), and then 20 per cent of f&b during the game. There’s also a Platinum Party Package option, which includes four hours of free-flow and two bar bites for Dhs349. And there’s a sundowner sharing platter with options at Dhs59 for one person, it’s Dhs99 for two or Dhs179 for four.

Barouk at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Yas Island, match time to midnight. Tel: (02) 656 3000, @baroukyasisland

Al Ain

Makani

Over in Al Ain, Makani is hosting the biggest outdoor screen in town for footie fans to catch all the action. Expect halftime games to participate in, nibbles, chilled fresh juices, signature mixes, and flavoured hubbly bubbly.

Makani, Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Al Ain. Tel: (0)56 685 3832. radissonbluhotels.com

Images: Provided

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