Dubai is no stranger to a love of sports, with football being its most popular. The UAE actually qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1990 for the first and only time since. The next most popular sport is cricket, due to the UAE’s large expatriate community from Southern Asia. The UAE even plays host to some of the biggest events in sports, including the Asia Cricket Cup, the Dubai World Cup and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which has seen some of the biggest names in sporting history in attendance.
There is no definitive recipe for a great sports bar. Some of us want great grub, some of us want the biggest screens possible, some of us want to play the games and some of us want to enjoy them with our families. There are a number of factors that equate to a great way to watch our favourite teams. But, we can all agree that where you watch is just as important as what you watch. A great atmosphere can heighten the glory of a win and ease the sting of a loss, so you want to make sure you’re getting good vibes, despite the outcome. From family friendly to a total riot, we’ve sifted out a few of the region’s top sports bars, whether your a footie fan or prefer to cause a racquet.
Kickers earned themselves the esteemed title of Gold Award Winner under the category of "The Best Sports F&B Venue of the Year” and is the only sports bar in Sports City. If you’re a serious sports fan and don’t want to miss a pass, a putt or a goal, you can expect to see the matches on wide screen televisions all over the venue. The outdoor terrace is perfect as the weather begins to get cooler and with 30% off selected items every day of the week, what’s not to love? Call 04-4481001.
Named after New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, Nezesaussi Grill has seriously upped the ante on sports bar cuisine. With our favourite menu items such as cheeseburgers, nachos and all our favourite guilty pleasures getting revamps, you can expect anything but average food. The grill also boasts huge televisions and screens that are visible from every angle. The Nezesaussi Grill has two venues in the city, one is located in the Vida Hotel and the other is located in the Address Dubai Marina. Call 04-8883444.
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
Whether it’s football, rugby or cricket, The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill has got you covered. Kick back and relax as you cheer on your favourite teams. The venue also hosts a special ‘grub lunch’ where guests can enjoy a delicious platter and soft beverage for Dhs 49 per person or with any house beverage for Dhs 55 per person. The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill has two venues in the city, one is located in the Citymax Hotel, Bur Dubai and the other is located in the Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha. www.citymaxhotels.com
Champions Sports Bar
Champions Sports Bar is tucked away in JW Marriott in Al Muraqqabat and has everything you’d expect from a sports bar and more. The menu consists of burgers, nachos and quesadillas as well as huge sharing platters with sliders, chicken tenders, calamari rings, shrimps, mussels, onion rings and cheese stuffed jalapenos. Pop by and enjoy a game of pool or darts! Call 04-6077977.
Jimmy Wickets 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. The bar is open from 2pm to 2am, 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. Jimmy Wickets is located in Carlton Downtown Hotel. Call 04-5069639.
If you enjoy a chin wag over a cold beverage, Pitchers is your spot. The venue 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. Call 04-3958888.
Arguably the most important thing for a sports bar to have is ambiance. That’s exactly what O’Leary’s oozes in. With a buzzing atmosphere, this unlicensed spot is perfect for sports fans of all ages. The large HD screen ensures you and your family don’t miss a single second of the match. O’Leary’s is located in Topaz Living Court Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha. Call 04-4227540.
For Brits who want a taste of good old fashioned British sportsmanship, The Underground is exactly that. This place serves up all-England style home comforts including all the sporting action, weekly live bands and, of course, proper fish and chips. The Underground is located in Habtoor Grand Hotel. Call 04-3995000.
Players Sports Bar
For a party atmosphere, complete with great food, a fantastic DJ and sports games - Players Sports Bar has got you covered. The venue has offers for every day of the week including free nachos when you order a beverage bucket on Sundays. You can take part in the games too with numerous pool tables and dart boards. Players Sports Bar is located in the Sofitel Downtown. Call 04-5036129.
Obviously, most people go to sports bars to watch sports, but 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. Perfect for a group of sports fans who want to keep the vibes alive despite the gaming schedule! Centre Circle is located in Al Barsha’s Ramada Chelsea Hotel. Call 04-5019000.
Original Wings and Rings
No one does sport quite like America, 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 your team ‘play ball.’ Original Wings and Rings is located in Dubai International Financial Centre.
West Beach Bistro and Sports Lounge
If you prefer your sporting experience with an air of sophistication and don’t want to compromise, 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. The West Beach Bistro and Sports Lounge is located in the Movenpick Hotel, JBR Walk. Call 04-4498888.