The time difference along with trying to find a place which shows all your favourite football matches may be a challenge whilst you are on vacation here. So why not get a piece of some live-action by visiting any of these Dubai-based football clubs!
About the UAE Pro League
If you’re an ardent football fanatic, looking for some live action on the field, the UAE Pro League (UAEPL) is here to take care of it. For sponsorship reasons, this mega event is also known as ADNOC Pro League.
Organized by Pro League Committee, UAE Pro League started its journey in 1973 and with every passing year, it has kept football admirers glued to their seats with an overwhelming experience on and off the field.
The UAE Pro League is now ranked as the top professional football league in the United Arab Emirates.
Presently fourteen football clubs are participating and competing with each other for the title. The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the First Division League.
The UAE Pro League occupies the top tier of this promotion/relegation system with only two teams relegated between UAEPL and Division 1 which is the 2nd tier of this league system. There is a 3rd Tier made of Division 2. However, it is not certain what the basis of the promotion and relegation in the league is and is a long way from the standard set in the First Division and Pro League.
|1||UAE Pro League 14 clubs in one national division|
|2 clubs (promoted/relegated between Pro League and First Division)|
|2||UAE First Division League 15 clubs in one national division|
| 2/4 clubs (promoted/relegated from Second Division)|
|3||UAE Second Division League 12 clubs in one national division|
For the Season 2020 – 2021, UAE Pro League started on 16th October 2020 and ended by 15th May 2021. The UAE Pro League 2021 -2020 season has already started on 19th August 2021. The finale of the season is scheduled to be held on 6th May 2022.
A Deep Dive Into UAE Pro League Football Clubs In Dubai
It doesn’t matter which club from Dubai you are following this UAE Pro League 2022 season, it is best to do a little bit of homework on first. So, when you’re cheering them on, you know about their history and their passion to come this far.
Technically, there are only three UAE Pro League football clubs in Dubai. But if you are fine to stretch your preference limit just a bit, you will get another three UAEPL football clubs from the neighbouring cities. Two from Abu Dhabi and one from Sharjah. Let’s start with each of them.
Teams currently in the UAE Pro League (2022)
|Al Ain||Al-Ain||Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium||22,965|
|Al Dhafra||Madinat Zayed||Al Dhafra Stadium||5,020|
|Al Jazira||Abu Dhabi (Al Nahyan)||Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium||42,056|
|Al Nasr||Dubai (Al Nasr)||Al-Maktoum Stadium||15,058|
|Al Urooba||Qidfa / Mirbah||Al Sharqi Stadium||3,000|
|Al Wahda||Abu Dhabi (Al Nahyan)||Al Nahyan Stadium||12,201|
|Al Wasl||Dubai (Zabeel)||Zabeel Stadium||8,439|
|Baniyas||Abu Dhabi (Al Shamka)||Baniyas Stadium||10,000|
|Emirates||Ras Al Khaimah||Emirates Club Stadium||5,200|
|Kalba||Kalba||Ittihad Kalba Stadium||8,500|
|Khor Fakkan||Khor Fakkan||Saqr bin Mohammed al Qassimi Stadium||7,500|
|Shabab Al Ahli||Dubai (Deira)||Rashid Stadium||12,052|
1. Shabab Al-Ahli Football Club
Shabab Al-Ahli is one of the most eminent and popular football clubs in Dubai. This club is currently participating in the UAE ADNOC Pro League. This is their 5th year in UAE Pro League.
The club features a squad size of 30 that includes 10 national team players and 8 foreign players. Igore Jesus (Brazil), Carlos Eduardo (Brazil) and Aziz Ganiev (Uzbekistan) are some of the treasured possessions of Shabab Al-Ahli. The squad is efficiently managed by coach, Mahdi Ali Hassan.
Rashid Stadium is their home-ground which has a capacity of 12,000. This oldest stadium in Dubai sits along Al Etihad Road which is about a 10-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.
2. Al Nasr Football Club
Founded in 1945 by a group of ambitious young men with a vision to create a history in Dubai’s football scene, Al Nasr Football Club is a long-treasured legacy of sports in the UAE. It would be wrong to define this club for promoting football only because it does the same for other sports and cultural activities.
This 1st Tier UAE Pro League team have been competing for the championship for the last 11 years. A squad size of 34 players including 3 national team players is handled by coach Ramon Diaz.
Thanks to Mehdi Abeid (Algeria/France), Dia Saba (Israel) and Toze (Portugal), Al Nasr Football Club has a tremendous attacking midfield.
The home arena for this prestigious club is Al Maktoum Stadium, which received a face-lift recently for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup event. The capacity of the stadium is around 15,000. Located at Oud Mehta Road 1, the stadium can be easily accessed via Oud Mehta Metro and buses from all parts of the city.
3. Al Wasl Football Club
Al Wasl Football Club is a Dubai based professional football club that started its journey back in the 1960s.
Under the active patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Butti bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, the club soon reached a new height and it is continuing with its goal to elevate the football scene in UAE.
Al Wasl Football Club has been an essential part of the UAE Pro League for the last 11 years. The squad of 41 players includes 3 national team players. The club has a group of promising players of international origin; namely, Fabio Lima, William Pottker, Ramiro and Adryelson.
Zabeel Stadium is their home ground which can accommodate a maximum of 8,500 people. Located in Al Jaddaf area, this stadium is only 1.5 km away from Dubai Healthcare City.
4. Sharjah Cultural Sports Club
Sharjah Cultural Sports Club, known to most as Sharjah Club, is not an official Dubai-based but Sharjah-based football club. Still, we can accommodate this one too in your list as they share the same geographical area as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Since its origin in 1965, the club has undergone several changes and has successfully established itself as a strong contender for the UAE Pro League.
This is a 1st Tier UAE Pro League Level professional football club in the country with a squad size of 37 players. Among these players, 6 are from the national team. It’s their 9th year in UAE Pro League. Bernard (Spain/Brazil), Caio Lucas (Brazil), Otabek Shukurov (Uzbekistan) are some of their star players.
You can often catch the team in action at Sharjah Stadium. The stadium has a capacity for up to 20,000 spectators. Reaching the stadium is easy and quick from anywhere in Sharjah. From Dubai International Airport, it is only an 11-km drive.
UAE First Division
Should a team become relegated from the UAE Pro League, they will find themselves in the UAE First Division. There is only one team from Dubai in the First Division at present which is Abtal Al Khaleej.
Teams Currently in the UAE First Division (2022)
|Abtal Al Khaleej||Dubai||Gulf Hero’s Football Pitch||N/A|
|Al Arabi||Umm Al Quwain||Umm Al Quwain Stadium||3,000|
|Al Bataeh||Al Bataeh||Al Bataeh Stadium||2,000|
|Al Hamriyah||Al Hamriyah||Al Hamriya Sports Club Stadium||5,000|
|Al Jazirah Al Hamra||Al Jazirah Al Hamra||Al Hamra Stadium||2,000|
|Al Rams||Ar-Rams||Al Rams Stadium||4,000|
|Al Taawon||Al Jeer||Taawon Stadium||200|
|Dibba Al Fujairah||Dibba-Al-Fujairah||Dibba (F) Stadium||100|
|Dibba Al Hisn||Dibba Al-Hisn||Dibba (H) Stadium||700|
|Hatta||Hatta||Hamdan Bin Rashid Stadium||5,000|
|Fujairah||Fujairah||Fujairah Club Stadium||10,645|
|Masfout||Masfout||Masfout Club Stadium||3,000|
Abtal Al Khaleej Football Club
After the much-talked-about UAE Pro League, let’s throw some light on UAE First Division football clubs in Dubai and we have only got one this time, Abtal Al Khaleej. This Dubai-based professional football club is located at the Midrif area in Dubai.
The club was only founded as recently as 2020 but Abtal Al Khaleej FC has already participated in UAE Second Division League and won the championship! There’s definitely more yet to come from this promising football club.
UAE Second Division
Several football clubs have been formed by Dubai-based colleges and universities. These clubs serve as a perfect platform to nurture fresh and immensely dedicated football talent. Let’s take a look at these city-based sports establishments.
Teams Currently in the UAE Second Division
|Al Dar College||Dubai||Various Grounds|
|Fursan Hispania||Al Lisali||The Sevens Stadium|
|Al-Hilal United||Dubai||Dubai Sports City Ground|
|Al Ittifaq||Dubai||Various Grounds|
|Al-Mooj||Al Jazirah Al Hamra||Al Jazirah Al Hamra Stadium|
|Atletico Arabi||Dubai||Iranian Club Pitch|
|Baynounah||Abu Dhabi||Armed Forces Officers Club|
|United||Dubai||Dubai British School|
|HPC||Dubai||Dubai Sports City Ground|
|Laval United||Dubai||Various Grounds|
|Liwa||Abu Dhabi||Old Baniyas Stadium|
|Regional||Abu Dhabi||Zayed Sports City|
|United Sport||Al Ain||As-hab Al-Himam Stadium|
1. Al-Hilal United Football Club
Al-Hilal United FC is a Dubai-based professional football club which is located in the Al Lisaili area. Founded in 2019, this club has a new owner, Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in February 2020.
Al-Hilal United club is an active participant in the UAE Second Division League. They ended the last season on 5th position with 23 points from 17 matches. In the 2020-2021 UAE Division 2nd Season, they qualified for the play-offs after finishing on top of Group A.
The club incorporated a huge number of foreign players to build a strong team. Chimdindu Nnabuihe and Rouchdane Bello are the most eminent ones. The squad plays under the supervision of Cederique Tulleners (Head Coach).
The club uses The Sevens Stadium in Dubai for their home matches. The stadium is located at the intersection of the Dubai-Al Ain Road (E66) and the Jebel Ali-Lahbab Road (E77) and has capacity of approximately 44,000.
2. Fursan Hispania Football Club
Fursan Hispania Football Club started its journey in 2014 as an academy in Dubai which then turned into a professional football club that currently plays in UAE Second Division League.
Established in October 2020, the club is owned by Michel Salgado and Faisal Belhoul and aptly assisted by manager Ignacio Averbe.
The team that Fursan Hispania FC is currently maintaining has lots of foreign players from South America, Europe and even from Asia.
3. Al Dar University College Football Club
As the name reveals, Al Dar University College Football Club is the home team of Al Dar University. This is a professional Dubai-based football club participating in UAE Second Division League. They use various stadiums for their matches.
UAE Second Division League is encouraging a series of clubs to participate enthusiastically even with their limited capacity and resources. This is the reason we are seeing new clubs and academies popping up every year with amazing possibilities to entertain the world with great football skills.
Dubai has already crafted a miraculously impressive sports scene, particularly with the game of football. There’s so much here to explore and so many hidden gems to discover in and around the city for football enthusiasts. Hopefully, your next visit to the city will be overloaded with plenty of memories made on the football fields.