Football frenzy grips Dubai

The Dubai Media City tent is one of the most popular venues to watch the games. (SUPPLIED) 

It is that time again when football fans the world over don a silly hat, buy flags or anything that can make as much noise as possible, and head out to support their favourite team in the Uefa European Championships.

And with Dubai being the cosmopolitan city it is, it is no surprise that virtually every team in the tournament – from Turkey to Sweden – will be cheered on.

Interestingly, it even looks like even Dubai's England fans will be supporting another side following their failure to make it to the finals.

According to the Football Fans Census, which surveyed over 2,100 English fans, the supporters will be following Spain, Portugal and Holland.

If you have chosen your team, but still haven't decided where to watch the games, starting with Switzerland versus Czech Republic tonight at 8pm, Emirates Business brings you a guide to some of the best venues showing Euro 2008 live.


Yes, the crowds can get rowdy, but that's what makes the Dubai Media City tent the hottest ticket in town. The tent, with 24 large screens, can hold up to 1,000 cheering fans at full capacity, and when you throw in a DJ, shisha, bean bags and some yummy sheesh kababs, you have a winning combination – even if your team happens to lose. And for those looking for more excitement, there is also a live PS2 competition, with a 42-inch plasma and PS3 console up for grabs. Call: 04 375 562


Love it or hate it, but you certainly can't ignore one of Dubai's oldest institutions at the Ascot Hotel. Waxy's is your average Irish watering hole, but come football season, people ignore the sticky floors and come out in droves. Arrive early if you want a seat in front of the giant screen but don't fret if you can't squeeze your way in to the couches. There are plenty of plasmas peppered around the place – we just hope this time the volume is not set on mute for some matches. Call: 04 352 0900


For those who don't like to feel crowded in, Double Decker at Al Murooj Rotana makes the perfect venue with its large air-conditioned tent outdoors – complete with a giant screen – and five indoor screens (yes, one of them is the big daddy of TV screens). A larger than life DJ will join the cheering fans for some after-match partying. Call: 04 321 1111


After being voted the best in the world, Barasti at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi makes an ideal hunting ground for football fans. Four dedicated TV screens and reportedly two plasmas being set up will draw in the work crowd looking to enjoy the happy hour. Call: 04 399 3333


The Regal Plaza Hotel in Bur Dubai is probably not the first place that comes to mind for footy fans. But what the heck, with 17 screens – some even tucked away in the bathrooms – there is definitely no chance of missing a single goal, unless you happen to fall asleep through the matches. Call: 04 355 6633


Agreed it's a tad small, but Fibber's has so much character that we had to pick it as a favourites. Expect to bump into some ancient expat bodies floating around, but at least you won't have to fight to get near the TV screens. On Sheikh Zayed Road, before interchange one. Call: 04 332 2400