Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC

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Shabab Al Ahli Club
Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC.png
Full name Shabab Al Ahli Club

Red Knights

Founded 1958; 60 years ago (1958) as Al Ahli
Ground Rashed Stadium
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Ground Capacity 10,000
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum
Chairman Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman
Manager Mahdi Ali
League UAE Pro-League
2016–17 UAE Pro-League, 3rd
Website Club website
Active departments of
Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg
Football Basketball

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

Al Ahli, literally translating to "domestic or national" in Arabic, was established in 1970, when three local teams joined together to form the club. The club won three UAE Arabian Gulf League titles in the 1970s and won its fourth in 2006, fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2014 and seventh in 2016.

Al Ahli has won 7 league titles, a joint-record 8 UAE's President Cup titles, 4 UAE super Cup titles and 3 UAE League Cup titles, earning a total of 22 domestic titles, making them the second most successful team in UAE. In the latest ranking by IFFHS, 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 with Al Ahli SC to become Shabab Al Ahli Dubai FC making Al Ahli rebrand into it. [1]



The 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.

1973–1980: The golden age and aftermath decline[edit]

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 Mohammed Shehta and featuring players such as Hassan Nazari and Hassan Roshan. The team also won three President Cup titles during that period. Drawing home-town 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.

Recent Success (From 2010 Till Now)[edit]

The club began to rise up again and in 2010, the squad was gradually re-built, with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro and Grafite 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. 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.[2]

2009 FIFA Club World Cup[edit]

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.[3]

2017 Merge[edit]

In 2017 the Clubs Dubai CSC, Al Shabab Joined with Al-Ahli FC into Shabab Al Ahli FC .

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.

In 2017 the Clubs Dubai CSC and Al Shabab Joined with Al-Ahli FC which was rename to Shabab Al Ahli FC, therefore a new logo was created.


Rashid Stadium also known as Al Ahli Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates was named after Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is currently used mostly for football & Rugby matches. The stadium holds 10,000 people.[1] It was built in 1948. It is the home ground of Shabab Al-Ahli.[2]


Al Ahli's longest-established rivalry is with Dubai-based neighbour Al Shabab, often called the Deira derby because of both clubs location in Deira side of Dubai. Al Ahli rivalry with Al Ain FC is gaining popularity as the two clubs alternated as champions in the 70s and more post 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 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 Ahli fan.

Active Departments of Al Ahli[edit]

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 Spanish La Liga[edit]

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's 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.[4]

Current squad[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of UAE Arabian Gulf League:

No Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Jamal Al-Hosani  United Arab Emirates
2 Defender Salmeen Khamis  United Arab Emirates
3 Midfielder Dawood Ali  United Arab Emirates
4 Midfielder Habib Al Fardan  United Arab Emirates
5 Defender Walid Abbas  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 Moon Chang-jin  South Korea
11 Forward Henrique Luvannor  Moldova
12 Goalkeeper Hassan Hamza  United Arab Emirates
13 Midfielder Khamis Esmaeel  United Arab Emirates
17 Midfielder Walid Amber  United Arab Emirates
18 Defender Mohammed Ismaeel  United Arab Emirates
20 Forward Saeed Al-Bloushi  United Arab Emirates
26 Midfielder Hassan Ibrahim  United Arab Emirates
27 Midfielder Jassem Salem  United Arab Emirates
30 Midfielder Mohammed Jumaa  United Arab Emirates
33 Goalkeeper Saif Yousef  United Arab Emirates
44 Defender Mohammed Marzooq  United Arab Emirates
55 Goalkeeper Majed Naser  United Arab Emirates
57 Defender Mohammed Sebil  United Arab Emirates
62 Defender Abdelaziz Sanqour  United Arab Emirates
67 Defender Majed Ahmed  United Arab Emirates
70 Midfielder Ante Erceg  Croatia
77 Forward Rashed Hassan  United Arab Emirates
88 Midfielder Majed Hassan  United Arab Emirates
92 Forward Saeed Jassem  United Arab Emirates
99 Forward Makhete Diop  Senegal

Reserve squad[edit]

No Position Player Nation
6 Midfielder Saoud Abdurazaq  United Arab Emirates
14 Defender Khalil Lashkari  United Arab Emirates
15 Defender Abdulaziz Al-Kaebi  United Arab Emirates
19 Midfielder Marwan Hamza  United Arab Emirates
24 Midfielder Muhannad Yousef  United Arab Emirates
25 Midfielder Khalvan Al-Noubi  United Arab Emirates
28 Defender Ismael Khaled  United Arab Emirates
29 Defender Omar Ahmed Salem  United Arab Emirates
32 Goalkeeper Ibrahim Ghloum  United Arab Emirates
36 Forward Ammar Darwish  United Arab Emirates
37 Defender Ahmed Abdullah  United Arab Emirates
40 Midfielder Jamal Fahad  United Arab Emirates
41 Defender Abdullah Ismaeel  United Arab Emirates
45 Forward Mohammed Al-Dossari  United Arab Emirates
50 Defender Saeed Sulaiman  Comoros
53 Defender Abdullah Sabt  United Arab Emirates
60 Defender Hareb Jamal  United Arab Emirates
66 Midfielder Eisa Waleed  United Arab Emirates
71 Forward Khalifah Khaled  United Arab Emirates
73 Midfielder Muhannad Ahmed  United Arab Emirates
74 Goalkeeper Abdullah Tareq  United Arab Emirates
78 Midfielder Eid Khamis  United Arab Emirates
80 Midfielder Abdullah Ghloum  United Arab Emirates
89 Forward Othman Mohammed  United Arab Emirates
90 Goalkeeper Raed Redha  United Arab Emirates

Other players under contract[edit]

No Position Player Nation
22 Defender Manea Mohammed  United Arab Emirates
-- Midfielder Nasser Masoud  United Arab Emirates
-- Forward Mohammed Al-Khori  United Arab Emirates
-- Forward Khaled Yousef  United Arab Emirates

Out on loan[edit]

No Position Player Nation
-- Defender Adel Al-Hammadi (on loan to Dibba Al-Fujairah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Defender Adel Sebil (on loan to Dibba Al-Fujairah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Defender Mohammed Jaber (on loan to Al-Sharjah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Midfielder Ahmed Mousa Saqer (on loan to Al-Fujairah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Midfielder Humaid Salmeen (on loan to Al-Fujairah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Midfielder Fahad Khalvan (on loan to Dibba Al-Fujairah)  United Arab Emirates
-- Forward Mohammed Ibrahim Eid (on loan to Al-Sharjah)  United Arab Emirates|}

Shabab Al Ahli Club Board Directors[edit]

  • Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman – 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

Shabab Al Ahli Football Company[edit]

  • Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman  – Chairman
  • Sayef Bin Mrkhan – Deputy Chairman
  • Ahmad Khalifa Hammad – CEO

Board Members[edit]

  • Tareq Ahmed Baqer
  • Mohammed Mattar Ghareb
  • Mansoor Lootah


22 Official[5] Championships

Domestic competitions[edit]

UAE Football League

Winners: (7) 1974–75, 1975–76, 1979–80, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2013–14, 2015–16

UAE President's Cup

Winners: (8) 1974–75, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1995–96, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2007–08, 2012–13

UAE League Cup

Winners: (3) 2011–12, 2013–14, 2016–17

UAE Super Cup

Winners: (4) 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015

Continental competitions[edit]

AFC Champions League

Runners-up (1): 2015

Friendly competitions[edit]

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. ^ a b "Al Ahli Sports Club". Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  3. ^ "Al Ahli 0 – 2 Auckland City". ESPN. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  4. ^ "Al Ahli football club sign ground-breaking agreement with Spain's La Liga through 2018 | The National". Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  5. ^ ONLY Al-Ahli championships are counted

External links[edit]