There’s no doubt the FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet.
Every four years, 32 teams from across the globe battle it out to be crowned champions of the world.
Emotions run high and there’s never a dull moment as football’s biggest stars light up the biggest stage in their sport.
So of course, you won’t want to miss a minute of the action.
Luckily, Abu Dhabi is going big for this year’s tournament, which is being held in Russia from June 15 to July 15.
Scores of venues in the UAE capital are putting their best foot forward and throwing a string of promotions to help you enjoy the show.
Whether it’s Brazil or Argentina, England or Germany (or any of the other 28 teams) you want to cheer on, Abu Dhabi has certainly got just the place for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up an essential guide to where to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 across the city.
Let the games begin!
PIZZA DI ROCCO
Our favourite budget restaurant has a deal to suit almost every occasion during the World Cup. If it’s just you and a friend watching, go for the Head to Head offer (two starters, a pizza and two soft drinks for Dhs99), of if you have a few mates go for the Dhs299 Four-Four-Two option (four starters, four pizzas and two desserts – with a 2 ltr soft drink). Or if you have the full squad down, order the Team Talk (two mixed antipasti platters, four salads, six pizzas and two 2 ltr soft drinks). You can order any of them to be delivered, for takeaway, or to eat in.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu-Fri 11am-2am. Salam Street, Al Dhafrah (800 76226). Other location: Etihad Plaza.
BARS & PUBS
Like to win when you’re singing? Well you can belt your heart out while entering the draw for a weekend staycation for two, with dinner, in Dubai at Appaloosa. The lucky winners will be announced during the final match, while other mystery prizes are up for grabs. Groups of ten or more will enjoy a 30 percent food and drink discount, too. Oh, just don’t forget to actually watch the football.
Free. Open daily noon-3am. Marriott Hotel Al Forsan Abu Dhabi, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A (02 201 4000).
ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB
Wear your country’s shirt and get a free drink every time they score, or if the game’s a stalemate with no sign of anyone breaking the deadlock you can entertain yourself by tucking into dishes from the live food stations – including Russian specialties such as pampushki (sweet breads), as well as the usual favourites of chicken wings and sliders. The fan zone will be split into three distinct areas, each with its own large TV beaming out the game.
Free. Open daily for matches only. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl (056 536 2260).
BARFLY BY BUDDHA-BAR
Head down to this spot in the Venetian Village and you’ll find a range of special offers, activities and prizes that can be won during the World Cup. Staff aren’t giving away too much about what the mystery prizes are, but we’re sure they’ll be better than watching England lose a penalty shootout.
Free. Open Sat-Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 1pm-2am. The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (056 177 7557).
BELGIAN CAFÉ YAS ISLAND
Cheer on Eden Hazard and the Belgian boys in true Red Devils style (that’s Belgium’s nickname, not just Manchester United) at this popular venue – where you can also win the chance to halve the price of your bill by correctly predicting the match score. There’s a daily happy hour from 4pm to 6pm, where you can also enjoy 50 percent off all drinks. Belgian Café has eight HD TVs and one massive LED screen and will serve food from different participating countries, as well as the usual à la carte.
Free. Open Sun-Thu noon-2am, Fri-Sat noon-3am. Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 2406).
There will be 14 screens beaming out all 65 games at Blu Sky. Happy hour runs from opening to midnight every day, with selected drinks costing just Dhs18. Anyone visiting the early group games will have the chance to win a VIP package worth Dhs1,000 for the final – including food, drinks and an overnight stay in a suite with breakfast. Other food offers include a burger and pint for Dhs69, pie and pint for Dhs75, bucket of six hops and wings for Dhs169 or bucket of six hops and a sharing platter for Dhs179.
Free. Open Mon-Fri 3pm-3am, Sat-Sun noon-3am. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).
Fun, food and a World Cup to remember (hopefully) awaits at c.mondo bar. With two large projection screens and HD TVs c.mondo will show all the games with special combos of food and drinks, along with a menu of delicious bar bites and happy hour beverages. There’s also a raffle you’ll be entered into if you spend Dhs100, where you’ll have the chance to win a ticket to see a quarter-final in Russia.
Free. Open daily noon-1am. Centro Capital Centre, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 409 6666).
COOPER’S BAR & RESTAURANT
If you’re used to watching the footie in a traditional pub with wooden panelled walls and barman who knows your name, then you’ll find a home at Cooper’s at Park Rotana. The friendly, homely venue has multiple screens dotted around, with tonnes of great food and drink deals, pub games and prizes to be won. You’ll find pub bites from Dhs15, hop buckets from Dhs97, bucket and pub grub combos for Dhs125 and themed cocktail selections. During matches, you can have unlimited selected beverages for ninety minutes for Dhs129. While you’ll earn a free house drink if you wear the shirt of any team playing.
Free. Open daily noon-2.30am. Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area (02 657 3325).
Want to watch the match with the biggest drink you can find? Head to Hemingway’s and you can buy a tower of hops for Dhs180 during the live screenings, or Dhs160 after the game.
If that’s a bit too much like hard work, then the bar will also be serving up nachos, chicken wings and hops for Dhs80.
Free. Open daily noon-2am. Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road West (02 692 4247).
Deals at the pub include sliders and two pints for Dhs120, pie and a pint for Dhs90 and ten chicken wings and two pints for Dhs110. Selected drinks are Dhs19, some drinks are buy one, get one free, buckets are Dsh130 and there’s a special World Cup-themed food menu available. There are also prizes available for predicitng scores and wearing your home country’s shirt and a trip for two people to a quarter final in Russia is also up for grabs. The deals are also available, at Level Lounge and Vincent’s.
Free. Open daily noon-3am. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street (02 616 6132).
Tucked inside the stunning five-star Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort is L’attitude, where daily prizes can be won for correctly guessing the score. You’ll also find a tasty deal of a snack platter or pizza with two drinks for just Dhs99. It’s a dark, cosy bar and perfect to watch the match away from the raucous crowds at other spots.
Free. Open Sun-Wed 4pm-1am, Thu-Sat 4pm-2am. Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort, Jebel Dhanna, near Ruwais (02 801 2222).
The Mexicans topped their qualifying group and will surely bring, ahem, juan or two moments of magic to the tournament. So combine that Cantral American flair with some authentic Mexican beverages and food at Loca. You can buy four drinks and get one free every day while you sit back in front of any of the nine screens, plus one muy grande projector.
Free. Open daily noon-2am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).
We think everyone will be missing Ireland at the World Cup, especially their feel-good fan following. However, the craic goes on at McGettigan’s all day, every day throughout the tournament. While on Friday June 15 you can enjoy a special five-hour footie brunch of free-flowing drinks, an international buffet celebrating the teams competing and live entertainment. It will run from noon to 5pm and anyone dressed in their country’s colours will have the chance to win a mystery prize.
Free. Open Sun-Wed 3pm-3am, Thu-Sat noon-3am. Al Raha Beach Hotel and Resort, Channel Street (02 652 4333).
NRG SPORTS CAFÉ
This Abu Dhabi favourite runs a daily happy hour from 3pm until close, offering selected drinks for just Dhs25, as well as 25 bottles of hops and four-person platter for Dhs450. Anyone who visits at least five times during the group stages will be rewarded with a 30 percent loyalty discount off all future World Cup bills. Feeling lucky? Predict the final score of the game during the first half-time and get a chance to win a free drink. There will also be raffles and games to enjoy too.
Free. Open daily 3pm-onwards. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 4382).
PORTERS ENGLISH PUB
It may not be England’s year this time, or next time, nor after that. However, you can join the rest of the red and white army in wishful thinking at Porters English Pub. You’ll find big screens, live music and enough food and drink to keep you going all the way to penalties (and inevitable knockout thereafter). At least you’ll be in good company.
Free. Open daily noon-3am. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3936).
SKY LOUNGE THIRTY ONE
Located on the 31st floor of the Grand Millennium Al Wahda, you’re guaranteed a wonderful spectacle, even if the games aren’t going your way. Book a table and enjoy full waiter service, as well as some delicious traditional Arabic food. There’s usually live entertainment, too.
Free. Open daily 6pm-2am. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 495 3916).
STARS ’N’ BARS
Not one screen, not two, not even three… but a whopping 76 HD TVs can be found at the reigning Time Out Abu Dhabi Best Sports Bar of the year. Stars ’N’ Bars is also running a series of deals including a buy one get one free option on selected hops, buy five beers and get the sixth one free and the chance to win your own height in hops. There are daily prizes to be won, too.
Free. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat noon-2am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
THE SPORTSMAN’S ARMS
One of the city’s top sports bars is setting the standards even higher with strong drinks deals throughout the World Cup. You’ll find Dhs15 hops and a 14-hour happy hour (that’s right) with other selected drinks for Dhs22. Launched in September 2016, The Sportsman’s Arms was named Highly Commended Pub of the Year at Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Music and Nightlife Awards the same year. And with ten large screens, delicious American pub grub including sliders, wings and nachos, you’ll see why we love it so much.
Free. Open daily noon-2am. First Floor, International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).
Throughout the World Cup, The Warehouse will be showing all the games on big screens in the cool venue. There will also be daily specials and a score prediction game – choose your team, pick a variety of grape to go with the side, post your prediction on social media using #thewarehouse and those who choose correctly will win prizes. Sounds like a fun way to get involved to us.
Free entry. Open daily 4pm-1am. Pearl Rotana, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 307 5591).
Grab five pals and book a booth at TWELVE for Dhs400 and you’ll enjoy a free drink. Plus you’ll get the Dhs400 back to spend on food and drinks that night. Cracking offers to enjoy while watching the game include a bucket of five hops for Dhs120 or sharing platter for Dhs99. Plus, wear your national team’s shirt and bag yourself a free drink.
Free. Open daily 5pm-2am. Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel, Khaleej Alarabi Street (02 654 5138).
VELOCITY SPORTS BAR
Pints on Thursdays cost just Dhs12, all day. But you can finally get the freebie you’ve been waiting for as Velocity Sports Bar are serving selected hops for free until the first foul is called during every World Cup match. Not only that, but happy hour runs from opening until midnight every day. You’ll also have the chance to win a Dhs3,000 cash prize with every purchase of selected drinks. There are 38 screens beaming out the footie too.
Free. Open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am, Sat noon-2am. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).
AL BARZA TENT
Join the masses inside the grand Al Barza tent, which has huge LED screens and state-of-the-art sound technology to bring the stadium atmosphere closer to you than ever before. For a more private setting, the tent’s seven majilis will be available for bookings with its own HD TV display. Complimentary valet parking and wi-fi is also available.
Free. Open for matches only. Capital Plaza Complex, Corniche Road East (02 813 7777).
Switch between roaring on your nation on the swish Impressions rooftop bar, to cheering with your compatriots in the more chilled Anantara tent. Whichever place you prefer to head to watch the match, you can enjoy it on multiple HD screens across the hotel while munching on delicious bar snacks such as dynamite shrimps, buffalo wings, beef sliders and nachos with your drinks.
Free. Open daily noon-3am. Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara (02 656 1000).
BALLERS FAN ZONE
Le Royal Méridien and PJ O’Reilly’s are opening up a huge tent for the World Cup, which will sit over the hotel’s pool. It will be filled with big screens, will host brunches, have daily challenges and games, and fans will be able to win loads of prizes throughout the tournament. There’ll also be live music from bands including The Boxtones, Sweet Chilli Jam, The Sheenagh Murray Trio and the Yeah Yeah Nahs. Entry is free and the tent will be hosted by radio star Sonya Mac. There’s also a VIB (that’s Very Important Ballers to you and me) area, which will have deals on food and drinks and a WAG’s Oasis (for all the wives and girlfriends that don’t want to watch the games.
Free. Call for opening times. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).
There will be ten 55-inch HD screens showcasing the football in this special tent. It costs Dhs100 to enter, however you’ll be given it back to spend on food and drink. There is room for up to 200 seated in the shaded courtyard. Perfect for cooling off as the games heat up.
Dhs100. Open daily 2pm-1am. Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah (02 979 011).
EMIRATES PALACE TENT
Emirates Palace Ramadan tent will transform into a World Cup tent. Football fans can relax in the cool comfort of the spacious tent and never miss a single moment of action across the two 28 sq m LED screen. There are 500 sofa seats, with plenty more screens dotted around inside. There will also be a special World Cup brunch running from 12.30pm to 4pm on Saturday June 16, costing Dhs280 for soft drinks and Dhs370 for selected house beverages. Happy hour runs an hour before every kick-off and all throughout, where you’ll get 15 percent off beverages. It’s also great for families, with a fan zone featuring pool tables, PS4 and table football. You can also book a family majlis (for up to 20 people) for Dhs5,000. The price includes a selection of starters to share and the first round of drinks.
Free (Dhs100 minimum spend). Daily 2pm-midnight. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 9000).
HILTON AL AIN FOOTBALL ARENA
The lush Hilton gardens will transform into an arena-inspired atmosphere, featuring huge seating spaces, large visual showcases and a cutting-edge sound system to hype up spirits. Making the football fest special are two complimentary house beverages per person. As well as signature bites, from classic sandwiches to Middle Eastern dishes, while find the usual range of beverages to complete the experience. What’s more, Hilton Al Ain will be giving away exciting prizes to anyone who predicts the right score.
Dhs100 (quarter-finals and semi-finals), Dhs120 (final). Open daily for matches only. Hilton Al Ain, Al Sarooj, Al Ain (056 685 3832).
HUBBLY BUBBLY TENT
There is room for 80 footie fans in this cosy tent. It will be broadcasting all the matches, serving food from the à la carte menu alongside beverage deals. To experience authentic Middle Eastern flavours, visit the Hubbly Bubbly restaurant-turned-tent, where you’ll find Arabic mezzes, grills and shisha in a variety of flavours.
Free. Open daily 5pm-2am. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Airport Road (02 657 4888).
Enjoy the thrill of each game throughout the World Cup season inside the air-conditioned Kahraman tent. You’ll never struggle to see the match either with a 12 sq m screen inside.
Free. Open daily 3pm-1am. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).
Watch. Eat. Cheer. Repeat. Pretty much the motto of the Khaymetna tent, where you’ll fine huge projection screens. Sitting next to the seaside, you’ll hear the waves breaking in between raucous chants, or tears of dejection. If it’s the latter, then banish the boohoos with a metre-long kebab and win “yummy prizes” (we guess they’re food related) if you predict the correct score.
Free. Open daily noon-2.30am. Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Corniche Road, Al Khubeirah (02 657 0111).
You’ll find various screens in this laid-back tent, serving delicious pub grub and drink deals with every game. Enjoy a 25 percent discount on beverages for wearing your team’s shirt during the game and pick up a bucket of five beers for Dhs105.
Free. Open daily 3pm-onwards. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road (02 677 3333).
THE LAWN CLUB
The Rosewood will be showing every game on huge HD screens inside its air-conditioned tent The Lawn Club. It’s open every day from 4pm and will have giant Jenga and table football as well music from DJ Saif before, after and in between the games. There’s a minimum spend of Dhs100 per guest and there are eight private lounges that fit five to eight people where the minimum spend is Dhs1,500. A menu of international bar bites will be available as well as Middle Eastern dishes and live shawarma stations. Bars will serve be serving pints of hops for Dhs30 or less, buckets of five bottles of hops for Dhs100 and other beverages.
Dhs100 minimum spend. Open daily 4pm-12.30am. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5565).
YAS VICEROY’S TERRACE TENT
With its trackside location overlooking the famous Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi provides the ideal backdrop for sport buffs looking to soak up the electricity of the World Cup. Staff have built special terrace tent for all footie fans to call home, while they’ll be running a series of promotions including hops for Dhs20 during games, as well as serving bar bites and shisha. Or just stay glued to any of their multiple big screens.
Free. Open for matches only. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island (02 656 0000).