Roaring fans, lifesize screens: How UAE's fan zones are the perfect spot to catch live action from the World Cup

Hotels, restaurants and lounges across the country are buzzing with electricity as the tournament progresses towards its final stages


Ehaab Qadeer

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Published: Mon 12 Dec 2022, 5:56 PM

If you did not make it to Doha for the World Cup, you must try out Dubai's football fan zones with its roaring fans, giant screens, and an electric atmosphere to take you as close to the action as possible.

Zack, a French national who flew to Dubai to experience the fans zones in the city, agrees, saying the UAE fan parks gives him the same atmosphere as a stadium, with the crowds in the fan parks providing an intense adrenaline rush.

“I asked myself if I can’t make it to Qatar, where would I get the buzzing experience with the best atmosphere? It definitely can’t be any other place than Dubai,” Zack said, while speaking to Khaleej Times.

Across Dubai and the UAE, hotels, restaurants and lounges are buzzing with World Cup bustle, and several fans like Zack who could not make it to Doha have flocked to the UAE to be as close to the action as possible. They will soak up the atmosphere in Dubai with the several fan zones, parks, football lounges projecting the matches live on huge screens, complete with lots of entertainment during the breaks to make for a carnival-like atmosphere.

Many who have been to fan zones say they're the next best spot after the stadiums in Qatar to catch the action live with an electrifying atmosphere.

Indeed, the world certainly seems to be flocking to the UAE and the Middle East to celebrate, engage in business, innovate and to compete in sports – perhaps due to the confident growth curve seen across the country in recent times. This sense of rejuvenation across the UAE post the pandemic has made residents’ feel highly exuberant about the future.

Faisal, a senior accounting manager and football fanatic, said he could not make it to Qatar, but fan parks in Dubai have more than compensated.

“Post the pandemic, this footballing spectacle in the Gulf is what I was looking forward to. Since my leave wasn't authorised, I missed out on watching a World Cup match live, but thanks to Dubai, I wasn't disappointed! They left no stone unturned to make sure fans don’t miss the action at all,” he said.

The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 is a historically significant event in several ways. The Middle East has become the centre of global attention for almost a month as billions of viewers are following what is undoubtedly the biggest sporting event in the world. The tournament has spun off in significant economic gain for the region, with people from all corners of the world descending upon Dubai to bring a carnivalesque atmosphere to the country.


Rafael, a Brazilian expat, said he has been enjoying the World Cup with his friends at fan parks in Dubai. “[These] fan festivals give us the opportunity to meet fans from around the globe — it's always a better way to connect and engage with football in a festive environment,” Rafael added.

Another French national, Camile said: “After being to the Brazil Carnival, this fan festival by BudX Fifa is giving me a similar vibe. People here are super pumped-up for the matches, just like in a stadium.”

While Qatar has reportedly spent over $200 billion to build state-of-the-art stadiums and infrastructure to receive millions of visitors, Dubai has also seen a surge in fans who have flown in for the month-long carnival to bring Christmas early to UAE.

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