Surely such a fantastic football season deserves an equally amazing end! The Edition brings you a selection of how-to’s and where-to-go’s for a viewing experience that is as unforgettable as FIFA 2018 has proven to be.
If you’re the kind of person that roots for the underdog then safe to say this year’s FIFA World Cup has been quite an unexpected turn in your favor!
No matter where one stands amidst the rather infectious football fever that takes over the world every four years, this year our screens bore witness to some of the most dramatic matches in recent memory.
With old favorites tossed aside in favor of new heroes, allegiances seem to have changed as anticipation runs rife for the final battle on the field.
Whether the red, white and blue that dons your hopes are streaked vertical or horizontal (in reverse), this final shall crown a victor amongst some of the finest displays of pure skill and raw talent that audiences have seen in years.
No matter what happens, it seems we are promised a match that will unforgettable, historic and dare-we-say, glorious. As the Edition kicks off shoes and settles in to watch our favorite game, we feel this sort of suspense should be honored in a setting that is, where possible, just as exciting.
So, clicking away on our keyboards, we present to you seven different viewing ideas, for football fanatics around the Male’ vicinity!
Now not everyone wants to spend a fortune watching this one every four years spectacle of global football talent. That’s understandable. There are a few locations around Male’ that have generously put up large screens for footie fants to enjoy for free.
One of the most popular choices is the massive screen at Social Centre in Maafannu, where many food stalls are found around the area. It has been frequented by a loyal crowd for many years, during various sporting events, it is nearly always quite crowded.
The most atmospheric choice though, has to be the at Raalhugandu Bridge Platform, where one may watch Pogba do his magic, while also enjoying fresh sea breeze, and the ever comforting knowledge that one’s wallet remains as fat as can be.
If you’ve got a couple of coins to spare, you can even grab a snack from one of the small vendors dotted around Boduthakurufaanu Magu in the Henveiru District - it shouldn’t cost you more than MVR 15 at most!
We are huge fans of the 'stay at home in your PJ’s and ordering in great food' following - almost as big fans as we are of FIFA! Like the US does their Chinese Takeaways, so we do Butter Chicken and Naans, Koththu Dishes, Pizza, Burgers and Submarines.
To start off, the sandwich delivery service offered by Big Man, has MVR 85 - MVR 110 World Cup Promo burger deals on match nights. All those yummy patties come with a chance of a free trip to Malaysia on bed and breakfast basis for four nights if you predict score right!.
In the spirit of a perfect match, Pizza Hut also features a takeaway and delivery discount of 15% on your total bill for all online orders, right in time for a World Cup fuelled pie frenzy!
For France fans though, maybe bringing in a sweet treat from Palato Frosty’s will hit the spot, as they’ve introduced a new item on their menu in support of Team France, the delectable looking Paris Brest, which is choux pastry filled with praline based cream - and its as fantastic as it looks.
If it’s got to be savory, try calling up for one of South Catering’s MVR 200 specials for ‘taste that celebrates’. Choices include western specials and indian dishes as well as complimentary nuts on delivery.
Of course, if that cup of coffee you’re craving just isn’t hitting home, try one of these amazing outlets to sate your FIFA and Caffeine cravings, all in one go.
For views to kill for, during half time and the best short eats in town, try Citron Cafe’. A large screen and comfy outdoor and indoor seats supported with mouth-watering snacks - what more could you really ask for?
It’s a football crazed paradise at Club 360 located in Galolhu, where the tables are themed by country, mocktails are team-themed and the staff sport face paint during match time! If you want to really get into the spirit of cheer, this one is sure to do the trick.
Seagull’s always a favorite, though frequented mainly by those who casually glance by rather than die hard fans. Still, it's a promise of good food and great atmosphere, so tough to say no to an invitation!
There are quite a few hubs located around the capital city to be sure, you only need to figure out which is best suited to your FIFA needs.
Although Hulhumale’ is a tad too far to venture out for most Male’ and Villingili residents, world cup finals count for a special occasion if there ever was one.
There is a popular free viewing experience at the large screen up in Hulhumale’ which attracts quite a large audience, even passerby’s report getting draw to area by the pulsing excitement.
However for those of us who have homes that are both busier and louder than we prefer for an intense match viewing, Valhomas Cafe is a great place to watch the match and enjoy a nice valhomas-themed meal, even add a relaxing stroll afterward.
Perhaps head down to the beach, where several little cafes and food huts also have a variety of specials and a different feel to the viewing experience.
Take the day off from work and make a long weekend out of it as you bid adieu to FIFA fever this year. Grab a couple of buddies and head down to Maafushi where a number of guest houses have sweet deals just in time for a (perhaps) bitter season end.
A two day stay at the Seven Coral Guesthouse costs only MVR 1900 per person in a twin sharing room, on half board basis, including transfers. Grab some local munchies and drinks for a stress free (well, depending on how your team fares) weekend with a dose of sunshine and ocean, just in case.
With a 65-inch viewing screen, you’ll be able to watch close as one lucky winner takes the ever-prestigious trophy home. But if things don’t go too well, you can always try paddling away the gloom using the free non-motorized water sports included in this FIFA Holiday Package.
The best part is the ferry back to Male’ arrives at 8 a.m. allowing eager-to-discuss fans a chance to head straight into office and vent/celebrate right before the work day begins.
What would be a better celebration when your team wins than being able to jump straight into a pool afterward? And if things don’t go your way, drown your blues in a turquoise paradise, so that at least when it’s over, you’ve gotten some soothing out of it.
This world cup season at Dhigufaru Island Resort, enjoy discounts of up to 15 per cent on all meal plans, while you watch the final match in an epic way, albeit from a distance. Featuring a huge screen at the Thundi Pool Bar, the resort serves freshly made pizza while you watch the match with a cold beverage in your hand.
And should you want to lap around in your villa for the night, you can still catch the match - all in unbeatable style.
Although donning fur coats, snow boots and stomping about in freezing temperatures may not come naturally to most Maldivians, watching a match in Luzhniki Stadium is not for the faint hearted. But hey, when in Moscow, right?
The grand dame of Russia’s stadiums is basically a historical monument, having been built in 1956, and has hosted the 1980 Olympics, the 1999 Uefa Cup final, the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, and the 2013 World Athletics Championships - to name a few! In Communist times, it was known as the Central Lenin Stadium and was the most important ground in the USSR.
And as the stadium hosts the 2018 Finals, the Luzhniki legacy lives on.
That said, it may be too little too late to book tickets for the packed full, uber expensive match seats. The selling of tickets purchased earlier from the FIFA site is still ongoing, but is proving to be risky business and a really pricey one at that, with tickets reportedly being resold at values as high as US$700 or more.
Not to mention, a round trip from Maldives could set you back a cool USD 1800 (Etihad Airways, Economy Class) and hotel rates have seen rises of up to 18,000 per cent and counting… that is, unless you somehow manage to grab an abandoned booking by a 'disgruntled Brit' or the like.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to have had your travel sorted and are heading to the largest city in Europe for this once in a lifetime experience - then, congratulations! Remember to snap it all, and take it all in for the rest of us.
So, these were some ideas we put together to help our readers have the best FIFA World Cup 2018 experience possible.
That said, every hardcore footie fan’s got their own preference on how to best watch the finals, down to superstitious rituals that may “help your team win”, but hopefully our list has some ideas that will help make for a truly memorable viewing.