World Cup football fever is well under way right across the Emirates, and with 32 teams competing in the group round before the action really heats up, it wasn’t hard to track down the region’s die-hard supporters during the first weekend of action. We sent our team of photographers – Antonie Robertson, Chris Whiteoak, Leslie Pableo and Satish Kumar – to several spots to capture the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
On opening night, fans of Russia and Saudi Arabia were out in force at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche and Fairmont The Palm in Dubai. The host country won 5-0.
Uruguay just needed one goal to beat Egypt in Friday’s match and the disappointment of the many Egypt supporters at Barasti in Dubai Marina showed.
On Sunday, Garden on 8 at Media One Hotel, Dubai, hosted German and Mexican fans for a game in which the world champions were beaten 1-0 by the Latin Americans. Later in the evening, as Brazil played Switzerland to a 1-1 draw, and the venue became a sea of green-and-yellow and red-and-white.
With plenty of surprise results so far, it’s a sure bet fans will continue to meet up to root for their favourites until it’s all over for another four years.