Fans of Pakistan’s and Indian cricket teams cheer before the start of match. File/AFP
The heat is on in the UAE, and it’s got nothing to do with the weather. Two of the biggest cricketing nations will be confronting each other on Sunday in what is expected to be the mother of all encounters.
The excitement is not just gripping millions of Indians and Pakistanis in the Subcontinent. It is also being felt here, thousands of miles away, a magnet for thousands of fans of the gentleman’s game.
Alas, a lot of them could not garner tickets for the Great Faceoff, despite trying hard on their computers and mobile phones.
But no matter. Already, hotels and restaurants in Dubai and Sharjah have come to the rescue, to bridge the gap. They have offered a lifeline to disappointed, diehard Indian and Pakistani cricket fans, giving them ‘mouth-watering’ deals to liven up their evening. They are not only offering them giant screens to view the match in their outlets, they are also offering some scrumptious dishes to add spice to the cricket fever.
Adeeb Ahmed, the owner of ‘King – House of Mughlai Food’ in Sharjah, says he has installed two giant screens in his restaurant for Sunday’s Adrenalin-packed showdown.
He is trying to keep up with the flood of enquiries and bookings for the event. The staff want to see love and camaraderie flowing between the people of the two countries.
The food will be a mix of mouth-watering Indian and Pakistani food: Pakistani Kheer with Lucknawi Kawaband and Malabar Parathas with Peshawari Chicken.”
Arrangements have been made for music to be played at these venues.
One Indian tried hard to get the tickets for the match but was unlucky. “Now, I will go to some restaurant with my family where we can enjoy the match together.”
The ‘High Note Pool and Sky Lounge’ in Dubai has also made arrangments for the match to be seen on a huge screen, followed by some good food and dance to match the tenor of the match.
Hari Kaimal, CEO of High Note, says there was a huge demand for seats to watch the match. There are very few seats left.
Faizan Khan, an India team backer, said he would be watching the match with his office colleagues at a sports joint as it was impossible for all of them to book tickets online.