Watch football in Bahrain, plus many more sports to see
A new season of football is about to kick off across Europe. Just as clubs have been scouring the transfer market looking for new star players, Time Out has had a busy off season too.
We’ve been talking to scouts and crunching the numbers to bring you the guide to the best spots to watch sports in Bahrain. Not just football either, with many of the island’s pubs, bars and lounges happily broadcasting everything from athletics to wrestling.
Whoever you support and no matter what your hopes for the season ahead check out the list of top spots for watching sports. Back of the net!
JJ’s Irish Pub Having opened more than 16 years ago, JJ’s deserves its reputation as a ‘Bahrain Institution’. Turn up on match night and you’ll soon see why this is regarded as the island’s most authentic Irish experience. Every Sunday, screenings coincide with a (12 hour long!) Happy Hour promotion. Aston Villa fans in Bahrain watch games here and all supporters are welcome (especially as live matches from England, Spain, Italy, Germany as well as Champions League and Europa league are shown live). Screens: Three high definition projectors and 11 more HD TV screens. (Two commentaries available and up to five different matches at any time). Other sports: Rugby World Cup, cricket, F1, basketball and other major competitions also screened. Gubaidiya, www.jjsirishrestaurant.com (3932 9083).
Karma Lounge Whoever said that you have to watch football in a pub-style environment anyway? Certainly not the marvellous people behind this Coral Bay hangout. More like Ibiza terraces than a stadium terrace, it nevertheless shows Premier League, Italian, German, French and European matches with some good offers to boot. Selected drinks for BD1.5 during games? A drink, a shisha and a burger for just BD10 while watching match? Yes please! Screens: One large projector and four flat screen TVs. Other sports: Major events only. Coral Bay, Al Fateh Highway, www.coral-bay.net (1731 2700).
Warbler The Brit theme is enforced with London street paving, replica phone boxes and more memorabilia. Gimmicks aside this Ramee Baisan Hotel spot stands out as one of the best places to watch sport in Bahrain. Lots of places have an abundance of flat screen TVs but who else has a room dedicated to sport viewing with an extra loud sound system blasting out match commentary? Add to that pool tables, dart boards and a brilliant ‘Predict to Win’ contest and you have a top sporting hangout. Screens: Three projectors, 12 42-inch flat screens and 7 32-inch flat screens. Other sports: Rugby, F1, tennis, cricket, boxing, wrestling, badminton and more major sport events. Exhibition Road, Hoora, www.warblerpubnbahrain.com (1729 0600 / 3838 1631).
Cafe Amsterdam For a more upscale viewing experience check out this impressive gastropub. Step away from the dining area to discover a bar themed around a certain Amsterdam-based brewer and you will find a gem of a sport lounge. Watch games on the 90-inch screen or take one of four private tables (complete with remote control and freedom to watch what you choose). You may find a Man Utd supporter’s club watching games here – but don’t let that put you off! The atmosphere is good and as an alternative to a typical pub this is an excellent new option. Screens: One large screen, 11 TVs (including four private booths). Other sports: On request. Adliya, Block 338, www.cafeamst.com (1700 7404).
Red Lions A stylish take on the sport bar meets pub at the Ramee Grand Hotel. There are plenty of screens dotted around and the manager is always willing to flick around on the remote control to find a game if what you’re looking for isn’t there. Far from the spit and sawdust basics sometimes offered up for sports viewers, there are comfy couches and leather armchairs and stools to watch games from. Man Utd and Barcelona fans in particular watch games here. Screens: Eight flat screens. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, tennis, major sporting events. Ramee Grand Hotel, Seef, www.rameegrandbahrain.com (3689 7377).
Fiddler’s Green We’ve been told that this Irish-theme bar in the Diplomat Radisson has become something of an unofficial home for Liverpool and Arsenal supporters in Bahrain. Even if those teams don’t get you cheering then the super-friendly service, big screen TV, darts board and pool table are worth making a visit for. All the usual European leagues and cup competitions are shown as well as Arabic leagues. Screens: Two large projector screens and three flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, tennis, F1, Moto GP. The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Diplomatic area, www.radissonblu.com/diplomathotel-bahrain (1753 1666).
Sherlock Holmes If the fictional detective were to watch Premier League football we imagine it would be in a place just like this. As typically English as you’re likely to get in Bahrain expect lots of wood, exposed brick, brass fittings and cosy booths. High flat screen TVs show matches from an enormous variety of leagues and the pub grub is typical hearty fare. The well-stocked games room has pool tables and darts boards. Fans of teams from England, Spain, Italy and France watch matches here so expect banter. Screens: Three large projector screens and seven flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, golf, NHL, NBA, NFL, AFL, cycling, darts, snooker and tennis. Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Adliya, www.gulfhotelbahrain.com (1771 2450).
Legends Sports Lounge Despite there being an abundance of Ramee Hotel group properties across Bahrain, this dedicated sports bar has the feel of being an undiscovered gem. With more than 20 screens (including a giant display) you are virtually guaranteed to get a view of any match you could want to see. Pool tables and pub grub complete the essential checklist and shisha is a bonus should you want it. Drink and meal promotions are frequent and you’re likely to see a regular crowd on match days. Screens: One large projector screen and 20 HD plasma screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, cycling and major sporting events. Ramee California, Juffair, www.rameehotels.com (1782 6001 / 3950 8403).
Corners Amwaj Islands residents are still not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to watering holes so this Dragon Hotel and Resort spot is a welcome addition to the fold. There are lots of TVs and most sports (mainly football, rugby and F1) are included on the big screens. Despite labelling itself as a pub there is nothing frayed at the edges about this upmarket spot with impressive sea views. Manchester United and Chelsea fans in particular watch matches here so expect a good atmosphere for top-of-the-table encounters. Screens: Two projector screens and nine TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup and cricket. Dragon Hotel, Amwaj Island, www.cornersamwaj.com (1603 1111).
Bennigan’s This Irish-American bar takes its sport very seriously. A daily viewing schedule is shared on social media and includes updates of live matches from more than ten different leagues and a variety of sports. In many ways it is the truest sports bar on the island but, thankfully, other areas are not neglected so you can still get lots of pub food, interesting offers and live entertainment. In addition to screening half a dozen football competitions Bennigans is one of the best spots to watch American sports as well. Screens: One large projector screen and six flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, tennis, basketball, baseball and more. Al Safir Hotel, Juffair, www.bennigans.com.bh (1781 3750).
Others to try
Tracks Sports Bar Screens: Two large projectors (for major games only) and six flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, cricket, golf and darts. Crowne Plaza Bahrain, Diplomatic Area, www.cp-bahrain.com (1753 1122).
Harvesters Screens: One large projector screen (for major games only) and 12 flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, cricket, golf and darts. Crowne Plaza Bahrain, Diplomatic Area, www.cp-bahrain.com (1753 1122).
Dilmun Club Screens: One large projector screen and five flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, F1, tennis, boxing cricket, golf, and regional sports. Road 7115, Block 571, Saar, www.dilmun-club.com (1769 0926 / 1769 2986).
Royal Golf Club Screens: Five (Four in a member’s only lounge and the other in Repartee Lounge) Other sports: Rugby, Golf, F1 and tennis. Royal Golf Club. Riffa, www.theroyalgolfclub.com (1775 1262).
C Club Sports Bar Screens: Three screens. Other sports: Major events only. Cavalry Club. Golden Tulip Bahrain, Diplmoatic Area, www.goldentulipbahrain.com (1753 5000).
Sip n Dip Screens: One large outdoor projector screen. Other sports: Rugby World Cup and F1. Elite Seef Residence, Seef District, www.elitegroup4u.com (1758 9000).
Champs Screens: Three large projector screens and four flat screen TVs. Other sports: Rugby World Cup, cricket, F1, tennis, boxing and WWE. Juffair Grand Hotel, Juffair, www.champsbahrain.com (1782 7600).