Every four years, the world patiently waits for the competition that unifies countries from all across the globe, the FIFA World Cup. This year marks the first time that the iconic event is held in the Arab world, in neighbouring Qatar. It is also the first time an Arab team - Morocco, has made it to the semi-finals; the temperature has reached fever pitch.
The moment the world has been waiting for, the FIFA World Cup Final, takes place this Sunday, December 18, at 7 pm, with France taking on Argentina. Morocco and Croatia also go head-to-head for third place a day prior, on Saturday, December 17, at 7 pm.
It's no surprise that Dubai has made it easy for fans of the beautiful game to watch every minute of the matches at an array of fan zones across the city. There's something to cater to every footballer lover's needs, whether watching a match on a beach, at the mall, or even at a food market with impeccable deals, entertainment, and the largest screens to witness all the footballing action.
HERE ARE THE BEST SPOTS IN DUBAI TO WATCH THE FIFA WORLD CUP FINAL:
Best places for diehard football fans
Join in the excitement as up to 10,000 fans converge to celebrate the beautiful game in a state-of-the-art, immersive atmosphere at the BudX FIFA Fan Festival. The purpose-built space features custom-designed 330sqm screens showing every match, with international artists keeping the electric vibe going between and after the match. The adults-only space has two seated sections and free-to-sit picnic tables, bean bags and more, with five-star eats available from the W Hotel.
Or head over to The ISD Fanzone, the open-air venue in Sports City ready to accommodate over 5,000 fans. The venue includes multiple giant screens, an array of F&B outlets and food trucks, fun activities organised by Footlab, and so much more.
Belgian Cafe's FIFA Fanzone in Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City, is the perfect match destination, airing all the live action with the finest pub grub, shisha, and a painting station for fans to get their team flags painted on their face.
At Freddy's at Fortune Hotels, kick back and relax and watch the final on video walls, big screens and TVs across the venues, with pool tables and video games providing entertainment before and after the big game. Or why not head on over to McCafferty's fanzone at Wafi's Amphitheatre in the Pyramid building, where fans can watch the final whilst enjoying live music, delicious food and beverages.
SLS Hotel is offering football fans a unique and memorable experience with games screened at Privilege, the world's highest overflow pool, including the final on December 18. Doors open at 2 pm daily, and fans can enjoy indoor as well as outdoor screenings, with 90 seats indoor and up to 30 seats in the FIFA play area. And at Fairmont The Palm, diehard football fans over 21 years old can watch the FIFA World cup at VZ's, which has 120 seats as well as plenty of food and beverage offers to complement the game. The venue is open from 2 pm to 2 am.
Best places for families
Those looking for a buzzing venue packed with sporting fans - with tons to keep the kids entertained, too, should make their way to the Fanzone by McGettigans at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. This large open-air site with massive screens alongside food trucks and live music, with entry to Winterfest with games and entertainment for the kids.
City Centre Mirdif has set up an open-air, family-friendly football fanzone on its terrace, with a series of football-themed activations, kid-friendly activities and games, shisha lounges, and more. Fan zone ticket holders can look forward to prizes with a daily draw. Tickets can be purchased directly from City Centre Mirdif.
Additionally, celebrate epic wins with great food and sea views at any restaurant at either La Mer, City Walk, and The Beach, JBR.
Best Places for a Unique Football Experience
Football lovers looking for a unique match experience can head to the culturally enriching Coca-Cola fan zone at Global Village or indulge in some of Time Out Market's mouth-watering food for an experience that satisfies foodies and footy fans in equal measure.
For those wanting to watch the game whilst enjoying the ocean breeze head to the Zero Gravity Sand Zone. Huge screens will be situated against a glittering backdrop of the Dubai Marina. Spend the day by the pool and beach, and catch the match at night along with electric DJ sets. Or try Brass Monkey at Bluewaters Island to watch the live broadcast of the game whilst enjoying a game of bowling and retro arcade games.
Head over to Cabana, Address Dubai Mall, to relax by the serene poolside and catch the FIFA final live on the big screen. Enjoy Mediterranean beverages and food along with the game. Doors open at 12, and a minimum spend of AED 200 per person is applicable.
Best Place for a VIP Football Experience
Visit the City Walk stadium lounge for a VIP-watching experience, with private VIP lounges available and one of the largest indoor screens in town, plus a tempting menu and fun activities dedicated to engaging every family member in a vibrant stadium-like atmosphere. But be sure to note the indoor area is for over 18s only.
More fan zones can be found at DIFC's The Football Park, with the chance to dine on delectable dishes from over 300 outlets in the neighbourhood. This venue also offers exciting activities on-site and a chauffeur service, and for a more private watching experience, you can book a private room for up to 20 guests.
Enjoy a chic watching experience on the outdoor terrace of the award-winning Great British Restaurant at Duke's the Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel which has been transformed into a Budweiser Fan Zone. A watching experience offers a five-star service where guests can sample a range of international dining plus a bespoke 'Football Fans Menu' to watch the game in style.
Enjoy watching the games while staying at any of the hotels:
- W Dubai Barasti,
- Address Dubai Mall,
- Address Dubai Marina,
- Anantara The Palm,
- Atlantis Wave House,
- Dubai Polo And Equestrian Club,
- Four Season DIFC,
- Habtoor Palace Dubai,
- Hyatt Regency,
- Soul Beach JA The Resort,
- Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach,
- Movenpick JLT,
- OAKS JLT Ibn Battuta Gate,
- Park Hyatt,
- Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel,
- Radisson Damac Hills,
- Rose Rayhaan Rotana,
- The Ritz Carlton,
- Vida Creek Harbour,
- Vida Emirates Hills,
- Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm,
- South Central Bar,
- The Brick Wall at Holiday Inn,
- Hyatt Place,
- Majestic City Retreat Hotel,
- Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach,
- Four Seasons Resort.