Excitement is building as the World Cup in Qatar draws closer. If you’re looking to watch the tournament in Abu Dhabi, a number of venues will screen the games live, alongside dishing out themed menus, entertainment, contests and activities for children.
Here’s where you can book for the duration of the World Cup, which runs from Sunday to December 18.
Emirates Palace fan zone
The grand hotel will launch a dedicated World Cup fan zone with open-air viewing spots at Oriental Cafe. Matches will be screened live on a super-sized LED screen, even as four food chalets and two bars keep guests satiated. Large groups have the option to customise sharing menus, while those with children can scope out the play zones and face-painting corners.
The hotel is also offering the Stay Like a Champion package, which gives guests a sea view room or suite, breakfast for two at Vendome, access to the fan zone with food and beverage credit worth Dh200 per person and a 60-minute spa treatment for two at The Hideaway by Emirates Palace Spa, for Dh3,800.
F&B will be served at the fan zone one hour before the day's first fixture and one hour after the last.
1pm-1am; from Dh180; Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road; 02 690 8888
Shangri-La football village
Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri will host a beachfront football fan zone at its private Plaza Beach each day of the World Cup. The open-air venue promises a stadium-like setting with giant screens, pub grub, beachside barbecues and Sunday brunch, as well as match-break quizzes, themed competitions, DJs and stand-up comedy acts. A day pass can be redeemed against two drinks and offers complimentary beach access. The football village will host a daily happy hour from 1pm to 5pm, with 50 per cent off all beverages.
Match days 1pm-1am; day pass for Dh100, brunch for Dh268; Khor Al Maqta, Qaryat Al Beri; 02 509 8555; firstname.lastname@example.org
The quintessential sports bar and pub, Cooper’s at Park Rotana has nearly a dozen screens peppered across its vibrant venue. Catch all the live football action, and in between head to the selfie booth, or participate in games and contests, including a spin-the-wheel challenge and raffle draws.
Cooper’s offers a moreish menu, with options ranging from sausages by the metre and a decadent truffle macaroni cheese to vegan falafel sliders and miso salmon.
Saturday to Wednesday noon-2am, Thursday and Friday noon-3am; a la carte menu; Khalifa Park; 02 657 3325
The lounge at Rosewood Abu Dhabi will set up a giant inflatable screen next to the swimming pool on its palm-fringed open-air terrace. Glo is offering a light-bites menu for the duration of the World Cup, with battered fish and chips, chilli nachos, pulled BBQ beef sliders, and sweet and spicy chicken wings. There is a minimum spend of Dh200.
Weekdays noon-1am; Friday and Saturday noon-2am; from Dh200; 02 813 5550
The vibrant Mexican restaurant and bar promises daily fiesta vibes with two “mega-large” screens. Loca has put together a football-themed menu, and is still serving its signature guacamole and tacos, which can be enjoyed with a minimum spend of Dh150.
Daily noon-2am; from Dh150; The Galleria Al Maryah Island; 02 582 3639
Stock Burger Co
The burger joint at Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi has put together some delicious deals for the World Cup, as well as a special menu. Sample the Mexican burger and receive eight soft drinks or juices; or order the Team World Cup sharing platter (with sweet potato fries, roasted parsnips, falafel, crab cakes and a trio of dips) and receive six bottles of hops, all for Dh150. Other dishes include the Argentinian Jawbreaker burger and Brazilian stack nachos.
The games can be viewed on eight screens inside or on one giant outdoor projector. Children under 12 eat free and can enjoy activity booklets, while adults can participate in games and contests to win free drinks, dishes and stays at the hotel.
Daily noon-midnight; a la carte menu; Embassies District; 02 657 4864
Vox Cinemas across Abu Dhabi will offer a cinematic viewing experience with a state-of-the-art sound system, screening all World Cup matches live on beIN Sports. The cinema will be open until the last game of the day ends.
Enjoy popcorn as well as a menu of tasty treats, including gourmet burgers, Parmesan truffle fries, hot dogs and Indian street-food options such as onion bhaji, dal vada and samosa.
Vox has also launched three packages: get standard access to three matches for Dh135; five matches for Dh195; or get a season pass for all games for Dh495.
From Dh59; 600 599 905; uae.voxcinemas.com
Zaatar w Zeit
Late-night revellers can head to Zaatar w Zeit to watch World Cup matches live or post-game highlights as this Lebanese joint is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The chain is putting up a massive LED screen at its Abu Dhabi Salam branch (as well as its Barsha Heights, Motor City and Sheikh Zayed Road outposts in Dubai) for football season.
Enjoy your fill of halloumi sticks, mighty kafta and the popular Famous Chicken wrap as you catch all the action. A minimum entry of Dh89 is not redeemable on F&B.
From Dh89; open 24/7; 600 522 231
The lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi will show the games live on multiple large screens and offer various packages such as daily happy hours from 4pm to 7pm and 30 per cent discount on select cocktails.
Those staying over at the hotel can watch the games from their room, with the tariff discounted by 20 per cent during World Cup season.
4pm-1am; a la carte menu; Al Maryah Island; 02 333 2444; www.fourseasons.com
Abu Dhabi fan zone at Yas Links
Yas Island will install the capital’s largest outdoor screen at Abu Dhabi fan zone, which opens on Monday at Yas Links.
The sprawling arena will also put on concerts and an e-gaming zone, while food and drinks come courtesy of the emirate’s beloved food trucks. A number of other locations across Yas Island will screen the games including Bushra by Buddha-Bar, Siddharta by Buddha-Bar, Cafe del Mar, La Carnita and The Lighthouse, all at Yas Bay Waterfront; Amici Terrace at W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island; The Overlook at The WB Abu Dhabi; and Boroughs, Stars n Bars and Iris, all on Yas Marina.
A massive screen and outdoor seating will also be open to the public at Pier71, the 3km boardwalk at Yas Bay; while Yas Mall will organise activities and competitions for fans to show off their football skills at its Sports Boulevard.
Various timings and prices; www.yasisland.com
Scroll through the gallery below to check out dedicated football fan zones in Dubai