Al Ahli Club (Dubai)

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This article is about the United Arab Emirati football team. For other uses, see Al-Ahly (disambiguation).
Al Ahli Club
AlAhli UAE new.png
Full name Al Ahli Club
Nickname(s) غلب كله
Founded 1970
Ground Rashed Stadium
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ground Capacity 25,000
Chairman Abdullah Saeed Alnaboda.
Manager Cosmin Olăroiu
League UAE Premier League
2013–14 UAE Premier League, 1st
Website Club home page
Old logo

Al Ahli Club (Arabic: النادي الأهلي‎) is a United Arab Emirates professional football (soccer) club based in Dubai. The club is abbreviated as A.C..

Al Ahli is one of the most successful clubs in the UAE. Al Ahli, literally translating to "national" in Arabic, was established in 1970, when three local teams joined together to form the club. The club won three UAE League titles in the '70s and won its fourth in 2006, fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2014.



The club was established in 1970, when two local football teams Al Wehdah and Al Shabab (est. 1962) joined together, and then four years later another local team Al Najah joined to form Al Ahli Club.

Crest and Nickname[edit]

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 A C (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.

1973–1980: The golden age[edit]

It took Al Ahli only four years after its establishment to win the UAE League twice consecutively in 1975 and 1976 then again in 1980. Drawing home-town fans, Al Ahli has been and continues to be one of the most popular sports teams in the UAE. However,Al Ahli club have suffered a lot in the last decades,and they went back to the second division when they played against Al shabab which alahli was willing just for a point from the match to stay in the 1 division. Al ahli has lost the match and Al Shabab has won the league. After a period of decline, Al Ahli went back on top winning its fourth league title in 2006 but throughout these years, Al Ahli continued to be a successful club in the UAE by winning 6 Emir Cups.

Al Ahli Castle[edit]

They are 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 plays focusing on UAE tradition, heritage and current events.


In August 2009, Al-Ahli (though some early reports erroneously stated that it was Saudi outfit Al-Hilal) caught the attention of the British media when a hastily organised training ground friendly against Premier League side Chelsea erupted into a mass brawl following an alleged spate of dangerous play from the UAE side, a knee-high two-footed tackle on Ben Gordon was the catalyst, which started the fight in which Al-Ahli were accused of eye-gouging, karate-kicking and tearing the hair out of the Chelsea youngsters.[1][2][3][4] Both Chelsea and The Football Association have stated that the incident was started by Al-Ahli and an investigation was launched.[1][3][5] After the conclusion of the investigation, the FA was expected to contact their counterparts in the UAE after which action was expected to be taken against any guilty parties.[2]

2009 FIFA Club World Cup[edit]

Al-Ahli, as UAE Premier League 2008–09 champions and as Dubai 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.[6]

Season 2009–2010[edit]

This season started up with the Super Cup against Al-Ain, winners of the President's Cup. The match headed to penalty shootout after the final score was 2–2, and Al Ahli lost. As the league began, Al Ahli club officials lost faith in their new manager Ioan Andone, as the team lost their two opening games, and managed to draw in a couple following. The replacement was the assistant manager Noor Al Deen Al Obaidi. He managed to pick up the team a little bit, before the Big Emarati coach Mahdi Ali started coaching the team, and getting them back into shape and ready for the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. With a lot of the key players out injured, the team couldn't do much in the Club World Club, and exited after the first game. Mahdi Ali left the team because his contract would expire with the end of Al Ahli's journey in the Club World Cup. Before another manager was to be recruited, Noor Al Deen Al Obaidi temporarily became the manager again. Al Ahli then announced the name of their fourth manager this season, Henk ten Cate. Again, the new manager couldn't make a difference, and exited with his own will. Noor Al Deen Al Obaidi finished the season as the first manager, and was able to get Al Ahli fight in the Asian Champions league, however, because of the performance of the first two match in the beginning of the season, the couldn't advance to the second stage. As the season ended, Al Ahli's administration were in action to bring change.


There was a big change in the administration of the club, in which Mr Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah took charge, and Mr Ahmad Khalifa Hammad became the Executive CEO. They recruited Italy's former captain Fabio Cannavaro and David O'Leary as manager.[7] They also recruited André Luciano da Silva, better known as Pinga, from Al-Wahda Club. Rumors have suggested that they were about to sign the Honduran David Suazo or the Ghanaian Sulley Muntari as their forward, since their current Forward Jader Volne Spindler had transferred to Al Jazira Club. In the end, the club signed a contract with the Burkinabé footballer Aristide Bancé from Mainz 05. O'Leary was let go during the season due to the team's poor performance, and an Emarati manager guided the team till the end of the season. During the January transfer window, Bance went on loan to Umm Salal Sport Club. By the end of the season, Bance transferred to Um Salal permanently. Al Ahli failed to finish in the top 4 and therefore could not qualify to the AFC Champions League. They were knocked out of the President's Cup in the semi-final round by Al Wasl FC.


Al Naboodah knew that he needed to bring new players that can help the team win trophies in the new season. Fabio Cannavaro was named as the consultant of Al Ahli's football company after he announced his retirement from football. Salem Khamis fully transferred to Al Nasr SC after spending the previous season on loan, while Amir Mubarak transferred to Al Ahli. Pinga's contract was not renewed. Hammad announced the signing of 3 new foreign players: the Brazilian Grafite from Wolfsburg on a 2-year contract, the Brazilian Jakson Coelho from Trabzonspor (famously known as Jajá) on a 3-year contract and the Chilean international Luis Antonio Jiménez from Ternana Calcio on a 4-year contract. Al Naboodah also recruited the former Czech Republic FA president, Ivan Hašek, who guided Al Ahli from midway through the 2007–2008 season, to the end of the season of 2008–2009 when he became the president of the Football Association of the Czech Republic, to be Al Ahli's manager. By his side will be the Emarati coach Mohammad Jalbot who will serve as one of his assistants. While the team was training in Australia, the administration made the top signing of the year in the UAE of the captain of 1. FC Köln, Youssef Mohamad, who will serve as the Asian foreigner since he is Lebanese.

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 United Arab Emirates DF Salmin Khamis
3 United Arab Emirates DF Saad Surour
4 United Arab Emirates DF Thamer Mohammed
5 United Arab Emirates DF Walid Abbas
6 United Arab Emirates DF Khalid Mohammad
7 United Arab Emirates MF Ismail Al Hammadi
8 Romania MF Mirel Rădoi
9 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammmed Khalvan
10 Chile MF Luis Jiménez
11 United Arab Emirates FW Ahmed Khalil
12 United Arab Emirates GK Ahmed Mahmoud
15 United Arab Emirates DF Abdurahim Abdurahman
16 Iraq MF Humam Tariq
17 United Arab Emirates MF Walid Amber Esmail
18 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Ali Mousa
20 United Arab Emirates FW Saeed Al-Bloushi
21 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Anter
22 United Arab Emirates GK Ahmed Mubarak
23 Brazil FW Grafite (Captain)
24 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Al-Hammadi
No. Position Player
26 United Arab Emirates DF Abdulaziz Haikel
27 United Arab Emirates DF Rashid Mohamed
28 United Arab Emirates MF Abdulla Ishaq
31 United Arab Emirates MF Humaid Ahmed
33 United Arab Emirates GK Saif Yousif
38 United Arab Emirates MF Khaled Tariq Basheer
41 United Arab Emirates MF Khalifa Khamis
45 Portugal MF Hugo Viana
52 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammad Abdul-Basit
55 United Arab Emirates GK Majed Naser
60 United Arab Emirates DF Bashir Saeed
62 United Arab Emirates DF Abdelaziz Sanqour
66 United Arab Emirates MF Adnan Hussain
70 United Arab Emirates MF Waleed Hussain
77 United Arab Emirates DF Yousif Al Sayed
80 United Arab Emirates MF Humaid Abbas
88 United Arab Emirates MF Majed Hassan
92 United Arab Emirates MF Nawaf Mubarak
99 Brazil MF Ciel
-- United Arab Emirates MF Habib Al Fardan

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
29 Germany GK Esad Bajrić (on loan to Nürberg)

Managerial history[edit]

Al Ahli Club Board Directors[edit]

  • Abdulla Saeed Al Naboodah – Chairman
  • Hammed Abdullah – Deputy Chairman
  • Ahmad Khalifa Hammad – CEO

Board Members[edit]

  • Mohammed Abdulrahman Al Banna
  • Osama Qarqash
  • Adel Zarooni
  • Mohammed Al Hamadi
  • Ahmad Al Kamali
  • Obaid Saeed Obaid

Al Ahli Football Company[edit]

  • Abdulla Saeed Al Naboodah – Chairman
  • Sayef Bin Mrkhan – Deputy Chairman
  • Ahmad Khalifa Hammad – CEO

Board Members[edit]

  • Tareq Ahmed Baqer
  • Mohammed Mattar Ghareb
  • Mansoor Lootah



UAE Football League


UAE President's Cup

Etisalat Emirates Cup

UAE Super Cup

  • Winners: (2) 2009, 2013


  1. ^ a b "Blues face FA probe over 'friendly' punch-up". News of the World. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "FA to refer Chelsea brawl to UAE". Press Association. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Cass, Simon (24 August 2009). "Chelsea face FA probe as training ground 'friendly' ends in mass brawl". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "BBC Sport | Football | Sunday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Brawl At Chelsea Friendly Against Al-Ahli". []. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Al Ahli 0 – 2 Auckland City". ESPN. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  7. ^ David O'Leary accepts job in UAE. 4 July 2010.

External links[edit]