Qatar World Cup: DIFC fan zone promises a touch of class for football fans

Luxury lounges, butlers and Michelin-starred restaurants await fans watching live matches on big screens

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A World Cup fan zone with a difference will open at Dubai International Financial Centre when the tournament kicks off in Qatar on November 20.

The Football Park will open on the podium level of Gate Avenue and will host Michelin-starred restaurants, butler service and a concierge for fans wanting to watch matches in style.

Entry fees to the fan zone will be announced on September 15, which is when the booking system will go live.

Along with our partners, we will ensure that The Football Park experience is as legendary as the game itself
Saleh Al Akrabi, DIFC Property Management

Fans will be able to book outdoor seating areas in front of a huge screen to watch the drama of the month-long tournament unfold.

The experience is being organised by Art Dubai Group, a commercial public and private partnership that owns and operates some of the region’s most successful cultural events, in partnership with entertainment specialists Hoko Agency.

“As a leading urban destination, we are pleased to host The Football Park in collaboration with the Art Dubai Group and Hoko Agency, which are both well renowned for their programming and hospitality offerings,” said Saleh Al Akrabi, chief executive of DIFC Property Management.

“Through this event, we are excited to give visitors and corporate guests an opportunity to experience a truly unique and premium way to watch and be part of the world’s greatest football tournament.

Qatar's air-conditioned stadiums - in pictures

"Along with our partners, we will ensure the Football Park experience is as legendary as the game itself.

“We are working towards making this event the next best thing to the live, on-field experience.”

Guests will have access to the exclusive outdoor hospitality section, where they can choose from the finest culinary offerings, including dishes from restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide.

Luxurious lounges, with a private butler, will be available for corporate hospitality and hosting opportunities.

Guests are promised an unsurpassed viewing experience that will include a concierge, a lounge, a la carte dining with a premium beverage package, a chauffeur service and the option to watch the games with a celebrity or former football player.

It is the second major fan zone announced in Dubai for the tournament that runs until December 18 in Doha.

Irish pub chain McGettigan's will also be hosting a fan zone at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

The venue is set to install the UAE’s largest outdoor TV screen to offer match views across the park.

Tickets for the McGettigan’s park are Dh50 ($13.60) and will host live music and family-friendly activities across several seating options, including VIP booths and picnic tables.

Other fan zones mooted for the World Cup are to be positioned at the Coca-Cola Arena and Dubai Harbour, although details have not yet been announced.

Businesses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai look set to cash in on the ease of access to Doha for the 2022 World Cup, which is a 45-minute flight away.

Hotel operators reported a boom in demand for bookings for the final two months of the year.

That has come largely from football fans and supporter groups choosing to base themselves in the UAE to utilise the wide accommodation options.

Extra shuttle flights have also been scheduled to travel between the UAE and Qatar to keep up with demand.

AirArabia and flydubai will be operating a total of more than 45 daily shuttle flights from Dubai and Sharjah into Doha.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions about fan zones and how they will operate in Doha, so people want to come to Dubai as they know the situation here,” said David Allen, cluster general manager for Radisson Hotels.

“Football fans want to enjoy themselves when they watch games, and they know they can do that here.

“It will be a very busy period for Dubai. I’m sure it will be a big boost for the Middle East in general.”

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:40 AM