The Rugby World Cup 2023 is set to kick off this week. While the action unfolds in France, you can catch all the thrilling play-by-play of the matches here in Dubai at one of the many pubs and sports bars screening the matches.
When is the 2023 Rugby World Cup?
From September 8 to October 28, 20 teams from around the world will come head-to-head to win the ultimate glory in the sport – lifting the William Webb Ellis Cup. Much like cricket, this contact sport also has a big World Cup tournament every 4 years, which makes the pressure, rivalry and excitement build up considerably.
Which teams are part of the 2023 Rugby World Cup?
Ireland’s the leading team in the rugby union but will they manage to hang on to their top spot? Or will runner-up South Africa’s Springboks recreate their 1995 triumph? Host nation France and no.4 New Zealand’s intimidating All Blacks are also strong contenders. England and Wales are at the bottom of the ranks at no. 8 and no.10 respectively, but maybe there’s a fabulous underdog upset waiting to happen.
Where to watch the Rugby World Cup in Dubai?
Whether you’re a die-hard rugger who knows their rucks and mauls or your only link to the sport is watching Matt Damon-starer Invictus, these Dubai venues will put you in the thick of the action and recreate the frenzy of a scrum.
1. Emirates Golf Club
Don’t be stumped by ‘golf’ in the name. The lush venue that’s home to the world’s 4th most popular golf course, takes every sport seriously, including Rugby.
The Pavilion and Lawn will screen the games out in the lush greens on big screens. Entry is free for all but for a great vantage point of the screens, book a package in advance. Prices start at AED 495 for a table for four, including eight drink vouchers and one snack platter. Doors swing open an hour before match times, and a DJ will keep the electric atmosphere going before and after matches.
Call 04 4179 999 or email email@example.com
2. Irish Village
The iconic Irish pub chain is going green for the Rugby World Cup with big screens installed both indoors and outdoors at both their branches in Garhoud and Studio City. During the games, select draught beers go for AED 38 per pint.
Call the Garhoud branch at 04-2824750 and the Studio City branch at 04 2418444
3. The Dubliners
Crack open cold ones (and some craic) at this Irish pub in Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre. An AED 105 meal deal will bag you a burger and fries and a pint to wash it all down on match days. Happy hours spanning an eight-hour workday’s length roll out from 1pm to 8pm getting you drinks for AED 29 until October 28.
Call 04 702 2455
4. Crafty Fox Gastropub
As nail-biting first and second halves unfold chow down on ‘scrum’my F&B offerings instead of your claws. This sleek gastropub in Jumeirah Golf Estates is serving a special ‘Big Match Bun & Hops’ for AED 99 during the Rugby World Cup. You get one pint and a speciality bun with a filling selection of crispy cod, Southern chicken or steak.
If your match-viewings are not solo enterprises, then the ‘Share the Spirit’ package for two of four bottles of hops and a choice of Peri Peri chicken or beef sliders starting from AED 150 are perfect. Bigger groups should feats on Tower Deals (AED 285) for select hops and options of 16-piece chicken wings, sticky baby ribs or a nachos platter to nosh on.
Call 04 586 7767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full-monty Irish rugby fandom experience, McGettigan’s Factory is the place to be. The upscale outpost in Palm Jumeirah of the Irish pub has fixed up a massive LED screen in their garden area to watch the Rugby World Cup matches. There’s more. When you purchase two hops, you’re in with a chance to spin the wheel and win prizes. An all-inclusive trip to the World Cup Final in France for two is up for grabs. Other things waiting to be won include free brunches, dunches and merch such as rugby shirts.
Call 04 230 0062
6. Barasti Bar
A sporting event that this Dubai institution doesn’t screen? Never. The longstanding beachside sports bar is setting up screens inside its chilled air-conditioned summer tent with drinks from AED 20. Another offer on tap perfect for fans parched from all the hollering is the pay-for-5 pints and get 6 pints of your choice. If you’re feeling like your sports pundit senses are tingling, play the “Guess the score” game – right guesses get the entire table drinks on the house. Those who wrap team jerseys around themselves like badges of honour will also be treated to a free pint.
Call 04 318 1313
The Bavarian tavern at 25Hours Hotel One Central is handing out a free beer to those who show up dressed in the clothes of their favourite team. September 8 onwards. Headed there on a non-match day? Also, check out their authentic Oktoberfest celebrations.
Call 042 102 511
8. Lilly’s Social House
The Burj Khalifa-facing restaurant and sports bar has happy hours running from 3pm to 8pm. There’s also a buy-one-get-one-free on select bevvies during the matches. Located in Canal Central Hotel Business Bay, the special deals run at this vibrant destination runs until October 28.
Call 04 8732192; WhatsApp 056 263 8721
9. CLAW BBQ
For the Rugby World Cup, this American barbecue joint at Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah is serving a pint paired with a sample platter of buffalo shrimp, mini corn dogs, chicken wings, riblets, chicken strips, and a spinach dip, paired with a pint for just AED 120. Burger lovers can grab a BBQ burger option with a pint for AED 89.
Call 04 230 0054
10. 71 Sports Bar
This DAMAC Hills sports bar is rounding up rugby fans with a delicious selection of international comfort food while watching the matches live.
Call 04 245 3988
11. The Underground Pub
Sports aficionados spending AED 100 during the Rugby World Cup season can win prizes, including VIP Tickets to DR7 with accommodation and transport for two. Other prizes in the offing at this sports joint located in Habtoor Grand Resort include a Dubai Helicopter Tour, Hot Air Balloon Adventure, Dinner in the Sky Dubai and much more. Valid through all 8 weeks of the World Cup.
Call or WhatsApp 050 780 6342 or email email@example.com
12. Garden on 8 Bar
The Media City hotspot has a deal that is worth the bang for your buck at AED 99 for match days. Guests can dig into a signature burger, fries, popcorn, and a pint of select hops for less than a hundred quid.
Call 052 144 7438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org