Excitement is already reaching a fever pitch in the Middle East as the world awaits the first-ever FIFA World Cup to be held in the Arab world and only the second World Cup to be held in Asia.
Whilst Qatar has spent the last seven years preparing for this football tournament with world-class air-conditioned stadiums and additional hotel accommodations; it’s no secret that it’s only a small city, not capable of accommodating all the guests of an event the size of the FIFA World Cup for a month. Plenty of the round ball action will be spilling over the borders to Dubai and the UAE.
In fact, if you haven’t already seen it, you can stay in Dubai and get a shuttle service by flying from Dubai directly to your world cup match in Doha and returning the same day.
For those of you based in Dubai or simply passing through, let’s see some of the best sporting bars, temporary tents, and stadiums erected across the city for the biggest international events the city has seen since the end of Expo 2020 earlier this year.
FIFA World Cup 2022 – Need to Know Info
- The 22nd FIFA World Cup will be held from 20 November to 18 December 2022 in Qatar.
- 32 nations have qualified for the finals. The soccer event starts with group matches, four teams in 8 groups. The round matches will take place in 3-time slots every day at 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 11:00 pm GST in Dubai (Gulf Standard Time UTC+4)
- Note that Doha works on AST (Arabian Standard Time UTC+3) which is an hour behind Dubai.
- The round matches last until 2 December 2022, then we move into the round of 16, quarter-finals, and semi-finals, with the World Cup decider being played on 18 December 2022.
If you’ll be in the capital, make sure to check out all the best venues in Abu Dhabi to watch the World Cup
Best Places in Dubai to Watch the World Cup
There is an abundance of bars and pubs in Dubai where tourists can enjoy the game. Let’s take a look across the city at some of the best spots to catch the action.
BudX FIFA Fan Festival – Dubai Harbour
One of 6 official BudX FIFA Fan Festival events in the world, this purpose-built venue in Dubai Harbour will be capable of accommodating up to 10,000 fans per day, making it the largest daily venue in the city to catch the Football action.
Expect 330sqm screens with cutting-edge 4D audio and live entertainment and DJ’sbetween matches. Meals and drinks will be available for purchase. This venue can only take guests from age 21+.
The action kicks off from 2 hours before the first match daily (21 – 28 November 12:00 PM, 29 November to 18 December 3:00 PM), and closing time is 3:00 AM.
Entrance starts from 78.75 AED – pre-purchase online or at the door
Learn more at budxfifadubai.com
Press Play – Precisison Football – Ibn Battuta
Due to open this month, this is the place to come for stadium-quality sound and ambiance. From VIP platforms to comfy sofas, there’ll be a wide variety of ways to enjoy the game in this new dedicated sports venue.
Combining music and sport, the fan zone will be open to all ages until 7:00 pm nightly; after dark, it’s adults only until 1:00 AM.
Entry/minimum spend details TBC
Fan City – Expo City Dubai
The World Cup Fan Zone will offer a festival-like atmosphere for sports fans with two zones – family-friendly Jubilee Park will be open throughout the tournament, and a deluxe experience at Al Wasl with VIP options from the knock-out stages.
Expect jumbo screens in Jubilee Park with a huge lineup of entertainment and games, including agility courses, foot volley courts, penalty kick-out activations, and DJs during halftime.
A 30 AED entry fee applies for adults, kids go free
Learn more at expocitydubi.com
McGettigans – Dubai Media City Amphitheatre
Irish pub McGettigans will be taking over this fabulous outdoor space in Dubai Media City, allowing up to 5,000 fans to enjoy the game with family-friendly activities spread across the venue and seating options from picnic tables to VIP booths.
An added plus for families, as we approach the festive season in Dubai, the venue will also be hosting the Winterfest Zone – think skating rinks, festive market, Santa’s grotto, and movie screenings.
There is a 150AED entry fee for this venue, but it’s fully redeemable on F&B.
The Football Park – DIFC
Want to fancy it up for the World Cup? This DIFC venue is the glamorous spot to head for your FIFA World Cup entertainment in Dubai for 2022.
Found at the Podium level of Gate Avenue, there’ll be private lounges with butler services and chauffer services thrown in for everything short of being in a box live at the match.
There will also be an outdoor screen area open to the public with activities and entertainment between matches.
Learn more at footballparkatdifc.com or email email@example.com
The Beach Fan Zone – Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
If you’re looking for a beachfront venue to enjoy this uniquely Middle Eastern FIFA World Cup, look no further than Hilton on Jumeirah beach. Capable of hosting up to 1,000 fans, there will be four separate zones to enjoy here, including The Beach, Tiger Bar, Wavebreaker, and The Garden.
Some venues are already fully booked for private corporate events, so pre-booking is recommended for this revenue. We are not yet aware of any age or entry fee here, but there may be minimum spends on F&B put in place.
Soho Garden DXB Mega Fan Zone – Meydan
This popular Dubai nightlife destination at Meydan racecourse will be transformed over the World Cup to allow up to 3,000 fans to view the matches on the big screens, with pub grub and live performances and DJs between matches.
VIP booths can be booked along with picnic tables for a great festival atmosphere. This one is reserved for guests 21+.
We’re waiting for entry fee info!
Stadium Lounge – City Walk
This outdoor entertainment area adjacent to Green Planet, City Walk, will be offering an outdoor stadium lounge with a 96sqm screen, free parking, and valet services.
Enjoy a PlayStation Tournament before the finals matches, plus a retail area for club merch and memorabilia along with food stalls through to fine dining. A DJ is on hand to help with all those goal celebrations, and between matches, entertainment is offered.
No age limit at this venue, so it will be one of the top picks for those wanting to take their little along to evening matches too. No confirmation yet if there will be an entry fee
The Football Deck by Belgian Café Dubai Festival City
This indoor/outdoor venue at Festival City provides sports fans with the option of sitting inside the Belgian Café or outdoors on the terrace of Crowne Plaza.
Free entry for all, there will be kids activities on throughout the afternoons and an outdoor play area to entertain your littles who may be a little less interested in the football results than you are! Enjoy traditional pub grub and European dishes being served.
Learn more at dubaifestivalcityhotels.com/footballdeck
The Brick Wall Sports Bars
A really good value choice for sports fans can found at Holiday Inn hotels at several locations across the city, where you’ll find sports bar chain The Brick Wall Sports Bar. Look out for them at:
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai, Jumeirah
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai Internet City
Special Offers at The Brick Wall Sports Bars include:
- Beer bucket (five bottles of Amstel or Budweiser) for AED 130
- Burger + beer bottle (Amstel or Budweiser) for AED 55
- Bottle of Amstel beer for AED 30
Crafty Fox Gastro Pub
The Crafty Fox Gastropub at Jumeirah Golf Estates is an excellent home-from-home spot for sports fanatics to catch the action with friends and family. With the option of viewing on their 20 indoor screens, or a dedicated FIFA tent with two mega screens, and al fresco dining overlooking the golf course, this is a superb choice for those who enjoy their football in a traditional pub setting.
Ideal for groups of 6, get tucked into their meal deal offers, including ‘Kick Off’ and ‘Fan’s Favourite’ packages; priced at AED 360 these packages include six bottles of hops and sharing platters with delicious options of Angus Beef Slider, Truffle Potato Dip, Prawn Tempura, and Beef Quesadilla.
Bespoke packages are also available for groups of up to 8 people per table with a minimum spend starting from AED 1,000.
Between matches, you can also enjoy foosball and darts.
Learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org
Football By The Creekside – Vida Creek Harbour
If you’re looking for that quintessential Dubai backdrop, alfresco screens will be erected creekside in one of Dubai’s newest developments in the Ras Al Khor area of the city.
A minimum of 150AED spend on food and beverages will apply for round matches and the quarter-finals (250AED during the semis and finals)
Live at the Lake – Dubai Digital Park
This outdoor venue will be a great family-friendly choice in the Silicon Oasis area of the city.
With two 1,500sqm screens, seated and standing areas, a game zone, and a football jumble, there will be plenty to keep the family entertained for a matched Sunday to Thursday.
Popup outlet OUI Bar & Terrace will also be offering drink specials.
Flying through? DXB venues showing World Cup Games
Don’t worry about missing a minute of the action if you’re transiting through Dubai International Airport DXB, as there are several venues that will be screening throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Jack’s Bar And Grill – Concourse A
- The Hangar – Concourse B
- The Sports Shack – Concourse C
- The Draft House – Concourse D
All of these DXB venues are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Give yourself plenty of time before your flights as there are superb drink and dining deals to be had, including their Yellow and Red Card Burger meal deals from 125 /145 AED, respectively, and kids’ menus are available.
Fun extras will be on offer, including Foosball competitions and “bring on the sub” instant wins to get 50% off your bill.
More Dubai World Cup venues to try
It’s highly likely if they serve food and drinks, they’ll be serving you up the World Cup this November/December in Dubai! If you’re after something a little more intimate or perhaps a country-specific spot to gather, here are a few extra sports bars you could try in different areas of the city:
- Arabian Ranches Golf Club
- Bai Bar & Terrace, Radisson Blu, Business Bay
- Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina
- BFF Gastro Bar & Lounge, Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Dubai, Jebel Ali
- Brew House, Citymax Hotel, Business Bay
- Bridgewater Tavern, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay
- FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront
- FireLake Grill House Terrace, Radisson Dubai, DAMAC Hills
- Garden on 8, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City
- Goose Island Tap House, FIVE Jumeirah Village Circle
- Horse & Hound, Al Habtoor Polo Club, Emirates Rd
- ISD World Cup Fanzone, The Square at ISD, Dubai Sports City
- JB’s Gastropub, Amwaj Rotana, JBR
- Jumeirah Emirates Towers Plaza Terrace, DIFC
- Kickers, Dubai Sports City
- Lo+Cale, Crowne Plaza, Dubai Marina
- Lock Stock & Barrel, Al Barsha & JBR
- Logs and Embers, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeriah
- M One Terrace, Millennium Place Barsha Heights (dry)
- Nelson’s, Rotana Media, Barsha Heights
- Nezesaussi Grill, Mazil Downtown, Downtown Dubai (esp for Aussie fans!)
- Notorious P.I.G., Doubletree By Hilton Dubai, JBR
- Offside, JA Ocen View Hotel, JBR
- Pele Pool Bar, Avani Ibn Battuta (check out their “Match is On” stay packages, including free transfers to DWC and Expo City Fan base)
- Phileas Fogg, Montgomerie Golf Academy, Emirates Hills
- Qube Sports Bar, Indoor Fan Zone, Meydan Golf Clubhouse, Meydan
- Seven Seeds, Avani Palm View
- SomePlace Else, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City
- Soul Beach Fanzone, JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel (300 AED entry)
- The Docks, Crowne Plaza Dabi, Jumeirah One
- The Dubliner’s, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (closest venue to DXB if you’re just stopping through)
- The Huddle Bar, Citymax Hotel, Bur Dubai
- The Irish Village, Studio One, Dubai Studio City & Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud
- The Pub on the Creek, Radisson Blu, Deira
- The Rose & Crown, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road
- The Underground, Al Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, JBR
- The Yard, TopGolf Dubai, Emirates Hills
- Trophy Room, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
- Zero Gravity, Skydive Dubai
- 71 Sports Bar, Trump International Golf Club
Looking for More Dubai Entertainment during the World Cup?
In the city always ready to entertain, as you can expect, there will be no end of day and evening entertainment options to enjoy during the FIFA World Cup. Why not also check out
- The best bars in Dubai Marina area
- Downtown Dubai’s best bars and evening entertainment venues with a view
- Where to catch sundowner drinks and special offers in Dubai
- Keep the party going beyond the last match of the day at these late-night party venues in Dubai
More FAQ’s on the Qatar World Cup from Dubai
In theory, yes, there’s a daily flight schedule between the two cities (and flights from neighbouring emirates in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi); but do note, if you’re looking for World Cup match days, these are likely already fully booked or very expensive.
As an alternative, Qatar has a deal with a number of local airlines in the Middle East to run specific shuttle services to matches. To avail of these services, you must already have a match ticket and book the special charter flights, explained in much more detail here.
Flight time is only around an hour, but you’ll need to allow plenty of time for boarding in Dubai and getting the connecting coach to your match and, likewise, your return journey. It is one of the most effective methods of getting to the World Cup in Qatar if scheduled flights have sold out or you can’t secure accommodation in Doha.
Make sure before travelling to Doha you’ve applied for the right Visa – learn more about the Visa application process for the FIFA World Cup here.
Theoretically possible, yes, but challenging. You need to drive around 650 kilometres (400miles), and you will need to understand the border crossing procedure between both the UAE and Saudi and Saudi and Qatar. The journey should take around 6 hours, but this could be dependent on border crossing procedures.
You also need to be a confident driver to tackle the roads in the Middle East. Driving in Dubai can be a hair-raising experience with the traffic conditions, then the long stretches through the desert can be tiresome – very long straight roads where speed limits are up to 160km. For vast distances, you’ll only be competing with lines of trucks in the slow lane, until someone whizzes past you in a 4×4, driving even faster!
Do note that your blood alcohol level must be absolutely zero, no matter which country you drive through. You mustn’t take alcohol in your car across borders, either.
Yes, Dubai is not a dry city, so alcohol consumption is allowed in Dubai, on the proviso that you do so sensibly and in accordance with the law. There is zero tolerance for drunk and disorderly behaviour.
Tourists should drink only on licensed premises and be respectful of others; there are some great drinks deals on offer that very much encourage consumption, but know your own limits and that there are severe penalties for drunken misbehaviour.
No, all matches take place in one of eight stadiums in the city of Doha, Qatar.
Many fans, however, will look to base themselves in the city of Dubai during the FIFA World Cup due to the city’s extensive accommodation options and party atmosphere.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
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