With the FIFA World Cup 2022 taking place in the southern hemisphere for the first time ever, the international football world is experiencing a serious shake up. For most European football fans, the World Cup is normally shorts and t-shirts, sunglasses and cold lagers in a beer garden. With Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, World Cup fever will be gracing the Middle East like never before.
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the 2022 World Cup in person, we’ve pulled together some cracking places to watch the World Cup in Doha, for the games where you don’t have tickets.
We fully expect some of that football fever to spread over to (relatively) nearby Dubai. With huge amounts of international traffic coming through the city on a daily basis and tourists visiting in droves from all over the world, Dubai promises to be a thriving hub for the World Cup in the UAE. If you want to get a bit closer to the action and have a little city break into the bargain, you could do worse than a few days in Dubai - especially as a number of airlines are putting on extra shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha over the course of the competition.
Whether you’re planning a trip or just hoping to catch a game on an overnight stopover, we’ve rounded up a few great places to watch a World Cup match in Dubai. Dubai is home to a surprising number of sports bars, ranging from wild and wacky to traditional Irish and English-style pubs. McGettigan’s, for example, is an ever-popular Irish bar in Jumeirah Lake Towers that almost guarantees a great atmosphere for any big sports clash. Or, head on down to Barasti Beach Bar - a sandy beach side bar that always gets the big screens out for large sporting events.
Where to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Dubai
So, want to know where to watch the World Cup in Dubai? Scroll down for a few of our top picks.
What: One of Dubai’s best known and most popular sports bars, McGettigan’s is where everyone heads when there’s rugby or Gaelic football on. We expect it’ll be no different for the World Cup, and McGettigan’s has a host of HD TVs on the walls, as well as a solid international food menu to keep you topped up.
Where: Next to Bonnington, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Book now: McGettigan’s
Crown & Lion
What: From the name, right down to the wood-panelling, The Crown & Lion has done an admirable job of recreating the vibe of a proper British pub in downtown Dubai. It’s popular for big sporting events too, particularly football; fortunately there’s plenty of room, making this one of Dubai’s best bars for big sports events.
Where: Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights
Book now: Crown & Lion
Goose Island Tap House
What: Goose Island is a very serviceable place to catch the big match, but first and foremost this is a haven for beer connoisseurs, with a well curated line-up of lagers, ales and other drinks on offer.
Where: FIVE Jumeirah Village Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle
Book now: Goose Island Tap House
Barasti Beach Bar
What: For most of the year Barasti is your average beach bar - sun, cocktails, parasols, that sort of thing. But when a big sporting event comes to town, the big screen comes out, making this the place to go if you’re craving that big match atmosphere.
Where: Le Meridien Mina Syahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina
Book now: Barasti
What: As you might guess from the name, Brooklyn Bar takes inspiration from American sports bars, where there are sometimes as many screens as people. Ordinarily, Brooklyn Bar would have a huge variety of sports on the go but we expect World Cup fever will take hold, and international football will take over here, for a few weeks at least.
Where: Elite Byblos Hotel, Al Barsha 1
Book now: Brooklyn Bar
What: Fibber Magee’s certainly wins the award for the smallest and most crowded bar in Dubai, but as a result, it always has a great buzz for sporting events. We recommend getting there early to make sure you get in and grab a good spot for World Cup games.
Where: Saeed Tower 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre 1
Book now: Fibber Magee’s
The Underground Pub
What: This quirky little sports bar has a London Underground theme, and serves up English pub grub and beers, alongside some wacky cocktails (many of which come with a generous helping of whipped cream on top). Sticking staunchly to the theme, The Underground Pub also shows English Premier League throughout the season, so we’d expect that you’ll be able to see every World Cup match here.
Where: Habtoor Grand Resort, Al Falea Street, Jumeirah Beach
Book now: The Underground Pub
What: Though Italy will not be playing at the 2022 World Cup, you can still enjoy some quality Italian hospitality at the Armani Hotel - one of Dubai’s most luxurious spots. Lounge in air-conditioned bliss and watch the games, perhaps with a smattering of antipasti and nibbles from the excellent, and now Michelin-starred, Armani Ristorante.
Where: Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa
Book now: Armani Hotel
DIFC Football Park
What: Open from the first day of the tournament to the last, you’ll find Football Park at the podium level of Gate Avenue in the DIFC. Massive screens will be set up to broadcast all the games, so you can watch the action from anywhere in the park. Tickets go on sale from 15 September, and pre-booked guests will have access to hospitality like private lounges and chauffeur services.
Where: The Football Park, Gate Avenue, DIFC
Qube Sports Bar
What: Perhaps the most striking option in this list, whilst most sports bars go for screens galore and simple, rustic decor, Qube focuses on ultimate luxury. The centrepiece of the room is the huge cubic screen in the middle, that means everyone can see what’s going on in the match, no matter where they’re sitting or standing. There are dart boards, pool tables and other games to keep you occupied at half time too.
Where: Meydan Hotel, Al Meydan Street, Nad Al Sheba 1
Book now: Qube Sports Bar
If you're in Dubai for the World Cup, you'll need to start planning which restaurants to visit during your stay. Check out our roundup of the best restaurants in Dubai and make your stay memorable on multiple fronts!