It’s been six long weeks but the Rugby World Cup is heading for a thrilling conclusion in Japan, and we are so up for the ruck. For anyone that wants to TRY a new spectating venue, this is our line-out.
On Friday at 1pm UAE time Wales take on New Zealand to battle it out for third place. But the main event comes on Saturday at 1pm – where England face South Africa in the grand final. We’ve got the best bars to help you swap malls for mauls and ‘convert’ those fans of the spherical ball.
Dhow and Anchor
You’d be forgiven for thinking veteran family friendly Brit bar, Dhow and Anchor is a show pony. It’s got a menu sizzling with legit gastro credentials and a panoramic glass facade offering gorgeous Gulf views. But underneath the glitz, it’s a full-blooded sports bar – with great hops options and fantastic happy hour deals (3pm-7pm daily). They’ve recently taken on a new manager, who’s been challenged to pick the winning team from each Rugby World Cup match. And if he picks incorrectly, if you ‘beat the boss,’ he’ll buy you a drink.
Dhow and Anchor, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. 12pm-1.30am. 04 432 3232 .
Is the brand spanking new gastropub in the Ibn Battuta Gate location. They’ve got big flavours, big screens, a big ol’ pool table – BFF is also big on comfort and has one of the biggest pub menus we’ve seen in Dubai. We like it ‘bigly.’ They’ve also got entertainment facilities for the sprogs (including PS4) and multiple table football machines – for when the punditry/five yard scrums/mid-game advert sprees get too intense. There’s a daily happy hour from noon-3am, with 25 per cent off food, and select drinks from AED 28.
Near Ibn Battuta Gate residences. 052 177 7541. 3pm-3am Sunday-Thursday, 1pm-3am Friday-Saturday.
Named after what happens when you squidge New Zealand, South Africa and Australia up together tightly, Nezesaussi Grill has got the Antipodean sports snack game locked in a tight cagey scrum. The menu features pies, cheeseburgers, nachos and all the yummy stodge you want after working up an appetite screaming orders to people (who can’t hear you) on one of the many luxury-sized TVs.
Nezesaussi Grill has two venues in the city. One is Downtown, in the Manzil Hotel (Sunday-Thursday noon-7pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-6pm) and the other is in the Address Dubai Marina (happy hour Sunday-Thursday 5pm-8pm). Call 04 888 3444 (for either).
The dining deal stars have aligned at this atmospheric barbecue spot, Joe’s Backyard is offering two-for-one on Saturday brunches for all those in the competing nation’s rugby jerseys. They also have a lighter match day option of a burger and two glasses of hops for AED 99. Swing by, sweet chariot.
Saturday Brunch from AED 275. 1pm-5pm. Joe’s Backyard, Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City. 055 709 4509
Barasti Beach Bar
Unlike Jon Snow, we don’t have to rely on ancient prophecies to tell us winter is coming. We just wait until Barasti take their summer tent down. Which is exactly what’s happening in time for the Rugby World Cup. They’ll also be rolling out the astro turf to ramp up the fever pitch atmosphere. Chances of there being a rousing chorus of ‘Swing Low’ during the England games – 150 per cent.
Barasti Beach Bar, Le Meridien Mina Syahi Beach Resort & Marina Dubai. 10am-1.30am (till 3am Thursday and Friday). 04 318 1313.
The Trophy Room
How do you put a Dubai flex the sports bar scene in the city? Golden chicken nuggets and home-made beef jerky are a ruddy great start. The Trophy Room at Fairmont Dubai has a 75-seat capacity (which is only slightly less than Murrayfield according to research we haven’t done), 11 screens and the opportunity to listen to the sports match commentary through headphones in various languages. It’s certainly worthy a shelf full of silverware in our unofficial opinion. Happy hour is 5pm-7pm every day.
The Trophy Room, Fairmont Dubai, DWTC area. 04 311 8316. Noon-2am.
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
Whether it’s football, rugby or cricket, The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill is ready to provide solid outfield work. The venue hosts a special ‘grub lunch’ where guests can enjoy a pub grub platter and soft beverage for AED 49 per person, or with any house beverage for AED 55.
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill has two venues in the city. Citymax Hotel, Bur Dubai, and Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha. www.citymaxhotels.com.
If you’re stoked for the RWC – take your excitement to Stoke House. It’s an atmospheric sports hub wrapped in the green fields of a pitch with no touch lines, Trump International Golf Course. And they’ve got some great match day deals on – a bucket of Dutch hops for AED 125, two for one chicken wing deals and the South African classic, bunny chow -served with a bottle of hops for AED 90.
Stoke House, Trump International, Al Qudra Road, Al Hebiah Third, DAMAC Hills. 6am-11.45pm. 04 245 3939.
So this is technically an American bar, and Americans do tend to favour their oval ball sports in padded fancy dress – but they do have a stake in this scrum. Cheer on the US, or any other team at P&Bs over the course of the RWC with an All-Day, All-American breakfast, for AED 85 – and it is as extra as you imagine it would be. They also have a limited edition Webb Ellis Manwich (AED 75), a massive meat sandwich stacked like a well-assembled ruck, with layer upon layer of flavour-packed protein. And there are of course a number of drinks promotions including buckets and pitchers of hops from AED 99.
Perry & Blackwelder’s, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. 04 366 6197. Sunday-Wednesday: 12pm-2am, Thursdays: 12pm-3am, Friday: 10am-3am, Saturday 10am-2am.
Champions Sports Bar
We’re fans of Champions…my friend. They’ll keep screening all the big screen action…till the end. They’ve got no time for losers. They are the Champions Sports Bar of JW Marriott in Al Muraqqabat. Apologies for that impromptu Queen lyric mangling. The menu at Champions consists of burgers, nachos and quesadillas, as well as huge sharing platters with sliders, chicken tenders, calamari rings, shrimp, mussels, onion rings and cheese stuffed jalapenos. Knocked for six.
Champions Sports Bar of JW Marriott in Al Muraqqabat. Call 04 607 7977. 5pm-3am.
The Duck Hook
New to the sports bar scene, The Duck Hook at Dubai Hills Golf Club has got the spirit of competition sewn into its lairy golf trousers. The ’19th hole’ is an international institution and a firm favourite for catching televised sporting events with the squad. At The Duck Hook they often put on special dining deals for big events and their kitchen serves up a range of gastro pub classics.
The Duck Hook, Dubai Hills Golf Club. 800 666353. 12pm-1am.
The word ‘institution’ gets kicked around a lot these days, but very rarely is it hits so cleanly between the posts, as when attributed to Fibbers. This deeply authentic Irish bar has been serving up hearty tastes of home and showing all the major sporting events for well over a decade. Their Sunday roasts, daily breakfasts and happy hour all have a special place in the heart of many UAE residents.
Fibber Magee’s, Sheikh Zayed Road, behind Saeed Tower 1. 04 33 22 400. 8am-2am.
Carries the great responsibility of currently being the only sports bar in Sports City. If you’re a serious sports fan and don’t want to miss a single four, score or duck you can expect to see the matches on wide screen televisions all over the venue. The outdoor terrace is perfect in the cooler months and with happy hour deals on selected items every day (3pm-7pm week days, 12pm-7pm Friday), what’s not to love?
Sports City, near Football Zone. 04 448 1001. Open Sunday-Wednesday 3pm-2am. Thursday-Saturday noon –2am.
Is something of a national treasure in Dubai and it’s easy to see why. The food exceeds your ‘typical’ bar food, with modern twists on traditional classics. Pro tip: get the shepherd’s pie in your face immediately. The bar is open from 2pm to midnight, so you have plenty of time to kick back and watch your team play. You can also enjoy a game of pool or foosball in the newly extended lounge. BUT NO SPINNING THE LITTLE MEN. OK. Without rules, we are but animals. There’s a happy hour every day from 5pm-8pm, with a special buy-two-get-one-free extension from 8pm-midnight on Friday.
Jimmy Wickets Sports Bar & Lounge is located in Carlton Downtown Hotel. Call 04 506 9639. 2pm-midnight.
If you enjoy a chin wag over a cold beverage, Pitchers knocks it to the boundaries every time. The venue’s location is perfect for a catch up, if you prefer something a little more relaxed and friendly. Pitchers is located in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Armada BlueBay Hotel. There’s a happy hour from 4pm-8pm daily, with great deals like select beverages from AED 27. In JLT...that’s almost like the prices back home. Almost.
Pitchers, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Armada BlueBay Hotel. Call 04 395 8888. Noon-3am.
Arguably the most important thing for a sports bar to have is ambiance. That’s exactly where O’Leary’s swaggers in. With a buzzing atmosphere, this unlicensed spot is perfect for sports fans of all ages. They’ve got one super-large HD screen, and 14 others to ensure you and your family don’t miss a single second of match day. From noon-5pm there’s a AED 37 business lunch, which includes three courses and a soft drink. Now that is a attempt we’re capable of converting.
O’Leary’s, Topaz Living Court Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha. Call 04 422 7540. 7am-midnight.
The Underground Pub
Is a delightfully and curiously decorated pub. With a replica tube train serving as bar, it looks like somebody’s quietly and purposefully gone about extending the Metropolitan line right through the Habtoor Grand’s basement. This place serves up all-England style home comforts including sporting action, quizzes, darts, pool, weekly live bands and, of course, proper, pukka fish and chips. Make sure you mind the hap…py hour, 5pm-8pm every day.
The Underground, Habtoor Grand Hotel. Call 04 399 5000. Noon-3am.
Players Sports Bar
We’ve been scouting in the leagues for a while and when it comes to a sports bar. Players was one of the first names on the sheet. It has a party atmosphere, great food, a fantastic DJ and exceptional sports coverage. The venue has offers for every day of the week including free nachos when you order a beverage bucket on Sundays. Not sated by spectating? You can take part in the games too, with numerous pool tables and dart boards. 180… (that’s the top possible score in darts, not the temperature outside).
Players Sports Bar, Sofitel Downtown. Call 04 503 6129. 6pm-3am
Obviously, most people go to sports bars to watch sports, but unless you’re the realy niche sports (we recommend giving competitive gurning a miss) – there isn’t always something to see. So, Centre Circle makes up for it by giving us a show in the form of a live band when there are no matches on. On the menu we suggest the seafood platter as a sharing snack and there’s a happy hour Saturday-Wednesday, 4pm-8pm, Thursday 4pm-9pm and Friday noon-9pm.
Centre Circle is in Al Barsha’s Ramada Chelsea Hotel. Call 04 501 9000. 12am-3pm.
Original Wings and Rings
The Americans are in a league of their own when it comes to sport (quite literally in the case of Baseball. World Series? Come on man), which is probably what Original Wings and Rings was thinking when they styled this eatery. Feast on endless buffalo wings at a seasoning and hotness of your choice while watching the ‘batter, hey batter, batter, batter swing.’ Oh say can you see, that was a smashing first innings. Happy Hour deals from 4pm-8pm, daily.
Original Wings and Rings, Original Wings and Rings DIFC. 04 359 6900. Noon-8pm.
West Beach Bistro and Sports Lounge
If you prefer your sporting experience with an air of sophistication, West Beach Bistro and Sports Lounge is the one for you. Enjoy the highs, forget the lows and get in on all the latest sporting action on multiple screens throughout the venue. On Mondays they happy hour all day and it’s noon-9pm every other day.
West Beach Bistro and Sports Lounge, Movenpick Hotel, JBR Walk. Call 04 449 8888. Noon-3am.