World Cup 2018: Where to watch the action in Abu Dhabi

Five great venues to catch the big games

This summer is set to be an absolute scorcher – and we’re not talking about the weather.

The FIFA World Cup will dominate our screens in June and July as the globe’s finest footballers battle it out to be crowned the best.

Can Neymar’s Brazil or Messi’s Argentina take the crown from reigning champions Germany?

Honestly, we don’t know.

What we do know, however, is that Abu Dhabi is embracing the sporting spectacle and you won’t have to miss a minute of the action.

A number of the capital’s biggest and best venues will be overcome with football fever and are pulling out all the stops to make sure you have a ball.

Here’s a few of our favourites.

Belgian Café Yas Island



Belgium are hotly tipped by many football experts as a dark horse to be crowned champions of the World Cup, with star players such as Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku set to shine.

So you can be sure the Belgian Café Yas Island will be a hive of activity this summer as football fans descend to cheer on their favourite teams.

The venue is putting an international spin to its usual menu and offering a range of snacks and meals inspired by the 32 participating countries in the tournament.

Expect plenty of Mexican, Spanish, Italian and English favourites to feast on as you watch their players battle it out.

And you can even make your own bid for glory and be crowned chicken wings world champion by eating as many as possible during the course of one game.

The winner by the end of the FIFA 2018 World Cup will get a prize worth Dhs1,000.

Open noon to 2am daily, (3am on weekends). Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina, Yas Island, (02 656 2000).


Emirates Palace



Few places in the capital do luxury like the amazingly extravagant Emirates Palace.

And it sounds like they’re embracing all things football as they get set to transform their Ramadan tent into a World Cup hub, perched on the beautiful beachfront pavilion.

Relax in the comfort of the spacious tent and watch the action and drama unfold on the 7m x 4m giant LED screens.

And you don’t have to worry about going hungry as they’ve got a nice range of snacks and meals available to make you happy.

It sounds to us like they're on the ball.

Dhs100 (minimum spend). Open daily 2 pm - 12 pm. Emirates Palace (02 690 8888)


McGettigan's Abu Dhabi



While Ireland may not have made the 32-team finals, ever-popular McGettigan’s is determined to get into the spirit with a bumper line-up of sporting fun.

You can catch the action across the 21 huge televisions in the Al Raha Beach Hotel venue, with teams such as Brazil, Germany, England and Spain battling it out.

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even a giant projector screen so you can see your heroes up-close.

There’s a string of promotions too, so you don’t have to break the bank.

The bar is staking a claim for the capital’s longest happy hour with selected drinks on promotion from noon to midnight every day.

Open Sun-Thu 3pm-3am; Fri-Sat noon-3am. Al Raha Beach Hotel (02 652 4333).


NRG Sports Cafe



You can guarantee this Le Meridien hotspot will be full of energy (excuse the rubbish pun) this summer.

So you might want to cool off with their bumper World Cup Cooler deal with your mates.

Enjoy 25 bottles of hops plus a platter of snacks for four people for Dhs450.

And of course there are plenty of giant screens so you won’t miss a second of the action.

If that gets you into the football mood, why not join their football computer game competition and battle it out against other customers on the Playstation 4?

There’s even a very long happy hour, running from 3pm to midnight so you can get selected beverages for Dhs25.

Open 3pm-late. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 644 666).


Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort



Across the capital, many venues will be converting their Ramadan tents into ready-made World Cup tents with just a small overlap in schedules.

The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, near the Corniche, is one of them.

Sit back and watch the big game in comfortable seats with screens of different sizes dotted around the tent.

Enjoy a selection of pub grub and a range of beverage deals as your favourite players light up the stage.

You even get 25 per cent discount on beverages if you wear your team’s jersey during their game.

Let’s just hope they win or you might get some smug looks from your rivals.

Open daily 3pm-late. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road (02 6970 272).

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