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Shabab Al Ahli Club (Arabic: نادي شباب الأهلي‎) is a United Arab Emirates professional association football based in Dubai, that currently play in the UAE Arabian Gulf League. Shabab Al Ahli is one of the most successful clubs in the UAE.

Shabab Al Ahli Club
Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC.png
Full nameShabab Al Ahli Dubai Club
نادي شباب الأهلي دبي
Nickname(s)Al Fursan Al Humur (The Red Knights)
Founded1958; 61 years ago (1958) as Al Ahli Dubai SC
2017; 2 years ago (2017) as Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai SC
GroundRashid Stadium
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
OwnerHamdan Al Maktoum
ChairmanAhmed Al Maktoum
ManagerRodolfo Arruabarrena
LeagueUAE Pro-League
2018–19UAE Pro-League, 2nd
WebsiteClub website

Shabab Al Ahli Club was established in 1958 in Dubai. Is an Emirati club. and its president is Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Vice President Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the chairman of the club is Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and deputy chairman is Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. And Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed is also the head of Shabab Al Ahli Football Company.

Shabab Al Ahli FC has won 7 league titles, a record of 9 UAE's President Cup titles, 4 UAE super Cup titles, 4 UAE League Cup titles and 1 Emirati-Moroccan Super Cup, earning a total of 25 titles, making them the second most successful team in UAE. In the latest ranking by IFFHS, Shabab Al Ahli is the 7th best Asian club and ranked 110 in the world and 4th in Asia.

In 2017, the Dubai CSC and Al Shabab merged into Al Ahli FC making Shabab Al Ahli FC rebrand into it. [1][2]




Al Ahli club was established in 1970, when two local football teams Al Wehdah and Al Shabab (est. 1958) joined together for a training camp in Egypt but decided to merge as one single club under first club president H.E. Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah. Four years later another local team Al Najah joined to form Al Ahli Club.

Al Ahli translates to "domestic or national" in Arabic. The club won three UAE Arabian Gulf League titles in the 1970s and won its fourth in 2006, fifth in 2009, sixth in 2014 and seventh in 2016.

1973–1980: The golden age and aftermath declineEdit

Mohammed Shehta in the middle, the first manager for Al Ahli Club in early 70s.

It took Al Ahli only four years after its establishment to win the UAE Arabian Gulf League twice consecutively in 1974-75 and 1975-76 then again in 1979-80 for the third time, which allowed them to permanently keep the league trophy. The victorious team, led by coach Mohamed Shehta and featuring players such as Hassan Nazari and Hassan Roshan. The team also won three President Cup titles during that period. Drawing hometown fans, Al Ahli has been and continues to be one of the most popular sports teams in the UAE. However, the club went into decline for few decades, the result of which saw the club relegated to the second division (1995–96) in a dramatic way, when Al Ahli played against neighbour rival Al Shabab, Al Ahli needed just one point from the match to stay in the first division. Al Ahli has lost the match and Al Shabab has won the league title. The same year, Al Ahli won the President Cup title. After a period of decline, Al Ahli went back on top under new leadership of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, winning its fourth league title in 2006 and in the following years, Al Ahli continued to be a successful club in the UAE by winning 6 President Cups. The early 2000s saw Iranian legend Ali Karimi play multiple seasons for Al Ahli, finishing as league top scorer in 2003-04 and being named Asian footballer of the year 2004. [3]

2009 FIFA Club World CupEdit

Al-Ahli, as 2008–09 UAE Pro-League champions and as Abu Dhabi was hosting the event, qualified for the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup which was held in December 2009. They lost 0–2 to Auckland City in their only game in the competition.[4]

Recent Success (From 2010 Till Now)Edit

The club began to rise up again and in 2010 with Abdullah Al Naboodah, the squad was gradually re-built, with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro and Grafite and Ricardo Quaresma joined the Emirati homegrown talents Ahmed Khalil and Ismael Al Hammadi. In 2012, Al Ahli won the UAE President's Cup and the Arabian Gulf Cup. The arrival of the Romanian football manager Cosmin Olaroiu in 2013, set the stage to a highly successful 2013-14 season. Al Ahli performed strongly in the league and assured its 6th title with a record for the highest ever points total for a league season (62). In addition, the club won the Arabian Gulf Cup, 2 Arabian Gulf Super Cups (2013–14, 2014–15) and in the following year they reached 2015 AFC Champions League Final which they narrowly lost to Chinese team Guangzhou Evergrande 1-0 on aggregate. Al Ahli homegrown forward Ahmed Khalil named the UAE's sole recipient of the prestigious Asian Footballer of the Year award in 2015. In 2016, they again won their 7th domestic league title with two matches to play.[5]

2017 MergeEdit

In 2017 the clubs Dubai CSC and Al Shabab joined with Al-Ahli FC to form Shabab Al Ahli FC.

Crest and NicknameEdit

The original Al Ahli logo reflected a falcon on top of football and the words "Al Ahli Club" written horizontally. After rebranding themselves to Red Knights in 2006, the logo changed to a horse head shape with the letters "AC" (Al Ahli Club) on top. The new logo represents strength and high spirits also it goes along with the new nickname Red Knights instead of the old nickname the Red Devils.

A new logo was created after the merge between Dubai CSC and Al Shabab that made Shabab Al-Ahli.


Rashid Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that was named after Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is currently used mostly for football & Rugby matches. The stadium holds 12,000 people. It was built in 1948. It is the home ground of Shabab Al-Ahli.[5] Shabab Al Ahli also has Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium and Dubai Club Stadium as a second and third home ground for the club after merging with Al Shabab and Dubai in 2017.


Shabab Al Ahli rivalry with Al Ain FC is gaining popularity as the two clubs alternated as champions in the 70s and more after 2010, and currently both teams are considered among the top teams in the UAE. The match usually creates a lively atmosphere but on few occasions has led to problems like throwing shoes and bottles of water onto the pitch. In one incident the match was halted after the referee's assistant was hit by mobile phone thrown by a seething Al Ahli fan.

Active departmentsEdit

The club is also known as Al Ahli Castle because of its involvement in other professional sports. The club competes in basketball, volleyball, handball, track sport, table tennis and track cycling. Al Ahli is also known for its involvement in cultural activities and community services. Al Ahli Drama club established in 1981, to promote Emirati arts and theatrical plays focusing on UAE tradition, heritage and current events.

Relationship with La LigaEdit

In 2016 Al Ahli became the first foreign club to sign a partnership agreement with La Liga that is the first of its kind for both the renowned professional Spanish league and the Arabian Gulf League leaders. The signing of the agreement, which was staged at La Liga's headquarters, marks the beginning of a linkup in which La Liga's experience will be used to support Dubai's leading club in its development especially a training program from youth coaches in Spain will be applied. The club's junior sides will gain invitations to leading tournaments there, providing the opportunity to gain valuable experience playing top-class opposition.[6]

Current squadEdit

As of UAE Pro-League:

No Position Player Nation
2 Defender Salmeen Khamis   United Arab Emirates
3 Defender Abdulaziz Al-Kaebi U21   United Arab Emirates
4 Defender Mohammed Marzooq   United Arab Emirates
5 Defender Walid Abbas   United Arab Emirates
6 Midfielder Saoud Abdulrazaq U21   United Arab Emirates
7 Midfielder Ismail Al Hammadi   United Arab Emirates
8 Midfielder Waleed Hussain   United Arab Emirates
9 Defender Abdulaziz Haikal   United Arab Emirates
10 Midfielder Mauro Díaz   Argentina
11 Forward Ahmed Khalil   United Arab Emirates
12 Goalkeeper Hassan Hamza   United Arab Emirates
13 Defender Mohammed Sebil   United Arab Emirates
15 Midfielder Abdullah Al-Naqbi   United Arab Emirates
18 Defender Mohammed Ismaeel   United Arab Emirates
19 Midfielder Marwan Hamza U21   United Arab Emirates
20 Forward Saeed Al-Bloushi   United Arab Emirates
22 Defender Manea Mohammed   United Arab Emirates
23 Forward Jaime Ayoví   Ecuador
25 Midfielder Ahmed Jashak   Comoros
26 Midfielder Hassan Ibrahim   United Arab Emirates
27 Midfielder Adeel Wgdan U21   Yemen
28 Defender Ismael Khaled   United Arab Emirates
29 Defender Omar Ahmed Salem U21   United Arab Emirates
30 Midfielder Mohammed Jumaa   United Arab Emirates
33 Goalkeeper Saif Yousef   United Arab Emirates
35 Defender Mohammed Jaber   United Arab Emirates
48 Goalkeeper Raed Redha U21   United Arab Emirates
55 Goalkeeper Majed Naser   United Arab Emirates
62 Defender Abdelaziz Sanqour   United Arab Emirates
66 Midfielder Eisa Waleed U21   United Arab Emirates
70 Forward Ahmed Al Attas   United Arab Emirates
88 Midfielder Majed Hassan   United Arab Emirates
90 Forward Henrique Luvannor   Moldova
92 Forward Saeed Jassem   United Arab Emirates

Other players under contractEdit

No Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Jamal Al Hosani   United Arab Emirates
17 Midfielder Walid Amber   United Arab Emirates
77 Forward Rashed Hassan   United Arab Emirates
Defender Adel Sebil   United Arab Emirates
Midfielder Muhannad Yousef   United Arab Emirates

Board of directorsEdit

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – president
  • Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum – vice president
  • Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum – chairman
  • Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum – deputy chairman

Board membersEdit

  • Khalifa Sulaiman
  • Sami Al-Qamzi
  • Mohammed Al Gergawi
  • Essam Al Humaidan
  • Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri
  • Hisham Abdullah Al Qassem
  • Abdullah Mohammed Al Basti
  • Ahmed Mohammed bin Humaidan
  • Yaqoob Bin Eisa Al Serkal
  • Abdul Majeed Hussain
  • Ibrahim Abdul-Malik
  • Khalid Buhumaid
  • Jamal Al Mehairi
  • Ali Al-Habsi
  • Saeed Rashid


24 Official[7] Championships

Domestic competitionsEdit

Champion: 1974–75, 1975–76, 1979–80, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2013–14, 2015–16.
Champion: 1974–75, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1995–96, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2007–08, 2012–13, 2018-19 (Shared Record)
Champion: 2011–12, 2013–14, 2016–17, 2018-19. (Record)
Champion: 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Continental competitionsEdit

AFC Champions League

Runners-up (1): 2015

Friendly competitionsEdit

Emirati-Moroccan Friendship Super Cup

Winners (1): 2016


  1. ^ "محمــد بن راشد يأمر بدمج الشبـاب ودبي مع الأهلي في كيان واحد". البيان (in Arabic). 17 May 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Al Shabab, Al Ahli and Dubai Club merge". Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  3. ^ "The 10 greatest foreign players to grace UAE football part II — 5-1". The National. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  4. ^ "Al Ahli 0 – 2 Auckland City". ESPN. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  5. ^ a b "Al Ahli Sports Club". Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  6. ^ "Al Ahli football club sign ground-breaking agreement with Spain's La Liga through 2018 | The National". Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  7. ^ ONLY Al-Ahli championships are counted

External linksEdit