Cricket fever grips UAE: Homes, cafes, theatre turn into stadiums

Families, friends, and cricket enthusiasts from all walks of life converged to witness the epic showdown


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 11:03 PM

Homes, cafes, cinema halls and resorts transformed into makeshift stadiums across the UAE to watch the most anticipated ICC World Cup Final match between India and Australia being played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The excitement wasn't confined to the stadium alone, it reverberated throughout the country. Families, friends, and cricket enthusiasts from all walks of life converged to witness the epic showdown, a match played 2,000km away but felt intimately in the heart of Dubai.

“How can we miss out on watching final match without an electrifying environment,” said Jatin Gupta, a resident of JLT in Dubai.

To make the mood we are charged with anticipation of a high octane match, Gupta set a chat corner at his place with over 25 of them watching it together. “In the beginning the match was electrifying. We were expecting a run chase of over 300. It was great batting by Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul. We still have hope on team India.”

Satish Kasi, an Abu Dhabi resident, is watching the final match with family and friends.

Giant screen projection

Hundreds of enthusiasts made their way to watch the match at the colossal screen in Dubai Hills Mall. Roxy XTREME, the largest cinema screen in the Middle East North Africa, screened the match, with over 400 cricket fans faces illuminated by the glow of the giant screen. The hall became the epicentre of this cricketing spectacle as fans from Abu Dhabi and Fujairah travelled to watch the match.

“I came all the way from Fujairah to watch the match with my friends. We are 8 of us together,” said Hameed, a resident of Fujairah.

The atmosphere inside the cinema was nothing short of high octane, matching the energy of the fans at the stadium. “Watching the match at the 423 square meters – twice the size of a tennis court, is the best way to watch the match in Dubai. It feels like as if we are in the stadium,” Akash Mehta, an engineer based in Abu Dhabi.

Cafes turn into makeshift stadiums

Cafes with large screens are broadcasting the monumental match. “It was a match to be watched in the beginning. However, the loss of wicket have made us lose interest in the match,” said Ahmed Mujeeb, an engineer who had come to watch the match at Sheesha Factory in Oud Metha.

A giant screen was set up at the Dr Sheesha where many enthusiasts were seen wearing the blue t-shirt cheering for team India.

Open air screening

Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT
Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT

A few enthusiasts watched the match by the sea side on a large projector screen at the JA Resort in Jabel Ali, creating an atmosphere charged with excitement and energy. The open-air setting allowed spectators to bask in the cool sea breeze while witnessing the intense competition on the field.


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