World Cup 2018: Where to watch England v Croatia in Abu Dhabi

11 great venues to catch the World Cup semi-final

World Cup, England, Croatia

English football is riding the crest of a wave right now with the national side just two wins away from being crowned World Cup champions.

The Three Lions are starting to believe it’s coming home after a convincing win against Sweden in the quarter finals.

But in their way stands Croatia, who will be no walkovers as they’ve battled their way to the World Cup semi finals with substance and style.

One thing is for sure, however, that there are sure to be fireworks when the two sides clash in Moscow at 10pm UAE time on Wednesday.

And there are plenty of great Abu Dhabi venues to catch the big game, no matter who you’ll be cheering for.

Here are 11 of our favourites.

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).

BALLERS FAN ZONE

Le Royal Méridien and PJ O’Reilly’s have opened up a huge tent for the World Cup, which sits over the hotel’s pool.

It is filled with big screens, hosts brunches, has daily challenges and games, and fans are able to win loads of prizes throughout the tournament.

There’s 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 is 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).

BELGIAN CAFE ABU DHABI

The big game will be shown in the venue’s tent that has been set up on the terrace overlooking the marina.

There’s food inspired by each game, deals on drinks and prizes to be won. Anyone for pie and mash?

Dhs100 minimum spend. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (800 423 463).

BLU SKY

There will be 14 screens beaming out the game at Blu Sky.

Happy hour runs from opening to midnight every day, with selected drinks costing just Dhs18.

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, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).

COOPER’S

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, Khalifa Park Road Eastern Ring Rd (02 657 3325).

PORTER'S ENGLISH PUB

This one is probably more for the English fans than the Croatians.

There are sure to be plenty of Three Lions fans here to celebrate with if England win or to commiserate with if England lose.

You’ll find big screens, live music and enough food and drink to keep you going all the way to penalties.

Free. Open daily noon-3am. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Al Wahda Complex (02 495 3936).

STILLS RESTAURANT & BAR

At Stills there are loads of deals during the World Cup, including two-for-one on bar bites from 3pm-8pm, selected drinks for Dhs25, themed mixed drinks, towers of hops and loads of games and prizes.

Should be a fun place to watch the game then.

Free. Open Sun-Thu 3pm-1am; Fri-Sat noon-3am. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 3066).

STARS ’N’ BARS

Not one screen, not two, not even three… but a whopping 76 HD TVs can be found at this giant of the sports bar genre.

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 WAREHOUSE

Throughout the World Cup, The Warehouse is showing all the games on big screens in the cool venue.

There are 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).

VELOCITY SPORTS BAR

Our new Time Out Abu Dhabi Sports Bar of the Year, 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).

VICTOR’S BAR AND RESTAURANT

Catch the big game at this ever-popular Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi venue.

They have one of the longest happy hours in town, between 12pm and 12am every day.

And you’re sure of a great atmosphere whether you’re cheering for the Three Lions or the Vatreni.

Free entry. Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 666 5508).

Yas Island will light up the skies with a dazzling display

Dino’s Bistro Italiano has introduced a special limited-edition menu

Ladies’ night at BOUNCE takes a new twist

Singer set for invite-only gig aboard a super-yacht

Yas Island’s Café D’Alsace and Rozanah have called it a day

Win incredible prizes with our month of competitions

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