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More than one way to be in Cup stadium

KUWAIT CITY, June 9: In a matter of days, a sporting spectacle will take over the lives of mortal men, the world over. As 32 teams gear up to face each other in 32 days at the FIFA World Cup, a staggering number of eyeballs will be hooked to TV screens. The 2010 FIFA World Cup, boasted a robust reach of 3.2 billion in in-home television coverage around the world, or an astounding 46.4% of the global population.

This figure does not include out of home viewers. For those in Kuwait who can’t afford the standard package for this sporting event, many alternatives are available. While giant screens, fan parks and full on ‘Rio’ parties are being organized the world over, the Kuwaiti viewer can go to the closest sheesha bar or restaurant to watch the games for free.

Restaurants like Buffalos Ranch will air the games in its branches in Salmiya, Jabriya, Kaifan and the Avenues, as will Mais Alghanim on the first floor of its restaurant along the Gulf Road. Patrons will be able to enjoy the games at all Ruby Tuesday branches as well as at the Roof near Shaab Park. Applebee’s will feature the games at their Bneid Al Gar branch along with a special offer of a drink plus a snack for KD 3. Indian restaurant Dawat will air the matches, and those craving Mexican can stop by Azteca at The Village.

The Avenues’ SoKu district will feature a World Cup campaign with multiple cafÈs and joints showing the game. Mˆvenpick Hotel and Resorts at Al Bidaa is setting up a special tent, inviting guests to come watch the game. Holiday Inn will air the matches live too and guests can enter their raffle for weekly prizes.

The Regency will play the games at their executive lounge with a special menu. The Marriott will display the games at La Brasserie in JW and Tiramisu in Courtyard with special menus. Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa will up the ante with screens running the games with Arabic commentary in an ambient space. For those on a diet, perhaps a trip to the neighbourhood barber will be more suitable.

Anthony, an avid football fan residing in Salmiya, has been known to make trips to the nearby barber to get a haircut or close shave while an important game is on, at the risk of service from a distracted barber. But for those who would prefer watching the games from the comfort of their homes, the internet is a godsend. Many will stream the games live, some through dubious links, others by availing of VPN services and hitting up BBC and ITV feeds.

By: Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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