As soon as the fixtures are released by the Premier League, the first thing I do, as I’m sure many other Reds’ do too, is to check what dates the big games are to be played, in particular versus Liverpool.
If that’s not enough, I always like to check the opening games including the first home game of the season, Christmas fixtures, the one closest to my birthday in April, the last home game of the season and where we could potentially lift the Premier League trophy.
So you can imagine my displeasure of realising that I would be missing one of the big games at Old Trafford, United entertaining Chelsea, due to a pre booked family holiday at the end of October 2014.
Mention Dubai and thoughts of rich Sheikhs, lavish lifestyles, state of the art tall buildings, and a metropolis of fine dining with exquisite malls come to mind. Throw in football ….. and nothing of great significance jumps out at you, until you visit the MUSC of UAE, which is where it all changes.
Being abroad when United are playing can be difficult to decide where to watch our beloved Reds, but was fortunate enough to watch the game in the official Supporters Club, located on the busy Sheikh Zayed Road – Harvesters, Crowne Plaza Hotel. Thanks to the power of social networking – Twitter in this instance, I was able to watch the game with fellow Reds, as @MUSC_UAE communicated with me in advance. The supporters club has been in existence since 2007, and certainly going strong, with a healthy following on their social networking accounts too.
You could be forgiven for thinking your back in Manchester with the passionate support that the fans portrayed chants of “Oh Robin van Persie… …” and “Twenty Times, Twenty Times Man Utd” amongst those bellowed out at the top of their voices from United supporters.
The ambience of the surroundings made it comfortable for families to come and watch games there, without taking away too much from a match day experience in bar back home. The staff were extremely helpful, they even allowed me to charge my phone behind the bar !
As for the game, Drogba gave Chelsea the lead, but deep into injury time, Robin van Persie – whose name was constantly chanted throughout, came to the rescue and salvaged a point for United, causing the whole place to erupt. The scenes were a joy to watch, and re-enforced my belief that United have always been and will always be, the best supported club in the world.
My advice to any fellow Reds going to Dubai, in particular when United are playing, pay a visit to Harvesters in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, so you can enjoy the match day experience, in great surroundings.