Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)

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Not to be confused with Al-Arabi SC (Kuwait).
Al-Arabi SC
Full name Al-Arabi Sports Club
Nickname(s) "Fareeg Al-Ahlam" ("The Dream Team")
Founded 1952 as Al-Tahrir
Ground Grand Hamad Stadium
Ground Capacity 13,000
President Hitmi bin Ali Al-Hitmi
Head Coach Roberto Carlos
League Qatar Stars League
2014–15 Qatar Stars League, 8th
Website Club home page

Al-Arabi Sports Club (Arabic: النادي العربي الرياضي‎), is a Qatari sports club club based in Doha, Qatar. Founded in 1952, the most prominent team of the club is the football team which plays in the Qatar Stars League.[1] The club's home ground is the 13,000-seat Grand Hamad Stadium, where they have played since their establishment.

Al-Arabi had their first major success in 1978, winning the Emir of Qatar Cup, and won various titles during the 1980s and 1990s. The club enjoyed their greatest period of success in those two decades, winning 17 major trophies. Domestically, Al-Arabi have won seven league titles, eight Emir of Qatar Cups, one Qatar Crown Prince Cup and six Qatar Sheikh Jassem Cups.

Al-Arabi's regular kit colours are red shirts and shorts with red socks. The club's crest has been changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club and modernise its image. The current crest, featuring a ceremonial falcon, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. They are known for having one of the largest fan bases in Qatar next to rivals Al Rayyan. In terms of championships won, they are the second most successful club on a local level after Al Sadd. Al-Arabi is known by various nicknames including "Dream Team", "The Red Devils", and "Century Club".


Foundation (1952–1990)[edit]

The club was founded in 1952 under the name "Al-Tahrir", making them the second oldest team in Qatar. In 1957, the club merged with Al-Wehda, a club founded which was founded on that year led by Mohamed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari, after playing a friendly. They merged under the name of Al-Wehda. Al-Wehda did not play out Qatar or host any foreign clubs due to lack of financial possibilities for the club. In 1972, the club integrated under their current name, Al Arabi.[2] The first president of the club was Ahmed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari.

Al-Arabi was known for having one of the largest fan bases in all of Qatar, as well as other Gulf states, and was well-known overseas. Their popularity outside of the Middle East was bolstered by their achievements and national team players, until 2003 when it reached its peak with the signing of Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta.

It came in 14th place in International Federation of Football History & Statistics's 1901–2000 Asian Club of the Century, the highest from Qatar.

The clubs dominance began in the late 1980s, when a number of professional players were contracted to the team by Sultan Al Suwaidi. By 1988, the club had arguably their most prominent professional players up until that point.[3] This included:


Golden era (1990–2000)[edit]

The 1990s marked the start of a continuous chain of succession for Al-Arabi. The dream team had come to fruition with the likes of Marco Antônio and Richard Owebukeri who were the top scorers in the league at one point. Perhaps the most significant player was Mubarak Mustafa, who is still considered one of the best Qatari footballers in history. The team, impressing many with its versatile squad, took the Qatari league by storm, winning it 5 times out of 10. Not satisfied merely with local success, the team achieved runners-up position in the AFC Champions League in 1995.

They won their first Heir Apparent cup in 1997.

Decline (2000–2011)[edit]

The new century saw a significant slump in Al-Arabi's performance. Factors which impacted this may include the departure of Mubarak Mustafa and the increase of competitiveness from local clubs. In the 2002 season, Al Arabi finished in 7th place, the lowest position since its debut in the Qatar Stars League.

The arrival of Gabriel Batistuta in 2003 saw a glimpse of hope for Al-Arabi as they finished significantly higher in the league than the last 2 previous seasons, however they ended up finished 9th in the league at the end of the 2007 season, a new low. They did not win a single domestic title during this period, and had limited success in international competitions. Furthermore, they suffered their largest-ever defeat against Al Sadd that season when they were beaten 7–0, which resulted in the sacking of their coach Cabralzinho.[4]

In 2006, due to popular dissent accosting the club president Sheikh Falah bin Jassim, there was an administration change which resulted in Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak being elected as president.

Management crisis (2011–present)[edit]

The beginning of the 2011–12 season looked bright for Al Arabi, with the club winning their first domestic silverware in 13 years by defeating Umm Salal SC in the final of the 2011 Sheikh Jassem Cup. However, a string of bad results in the league resulted in the sacking of their coach, Paulo Silas.

They were also eligible to play in the 2012 AFC Champions League, which they were the first team to be eliminated from. During this period, the club had been in charge of 3 coaches in a span of 3 months. They infamously made history by being the first team since 2007 to lose every match in the group stage, as well as the first Qatari team to achieve this.[5] As a result, the club's Director of Football, Mubarak Mustafa, announced his departure from the club.[6] Furthermore, Dr. Abdullah al-Mal, president of the club, announced his retirement from sports.[7] He was replaced by Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi. The fiscal budget of the club was reduced from 15 million riyals to 9 million riyals.[8]


Main article: Grand Hamad Stadium



Domestic competitions
Winners (7): 1983, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
Winners (8): 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1993
Winners (1): 1997
Winners (6): 1980, 1982, 1994, 2008, 2010, 2011
Regional competitions
  • Ittihad Cup
Winners (2): 1990, 1997

League results[edit]

Qatar Stars League

Performance in AFC competitions[edit]

1987: Group Stage
1993: Qualifying – 1st round
1995: Runners-up to Thailand Thai Farmers Bank
1996: Group Stage
1999: First Round
1990–91: Second Round
1993–94: Semi-final
2012: Group Stage

Performance in UAFA competitions[edit]

1986: Runners-up to Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
2002: Group Stage
2006: Group Stage
2011: Quarter-finals


No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Masoud Zeraei      Iran
4 Defender Mohammed Abdurahman      Qatar
5 Midfielder Abdullah Marafee      Qatar
7 Forward Ahmed Khalfan      Qatar
8 Defender Saoud Nasser      Qatar
9 Midfielder Mohammed Salem      Qatar
10 Forward Boualem Khoukhi      Qatar
11 Midfielder Mohammed Al Kuwari      Qatar
12 Midfielder Ahmed Fatehi      Qatar
13 Defender Moussa Al Barakah      Qatar
14 Midfielder Mohamed Malallah      Qatar
15 Defender Maged Aman      Qatar
18 Defender Aden Ali Aden      Somalia
20 Forward Junior Dutra      Brazil
21 Midfielder Abdulla Al Oraimi      Qatar
22 Goalkeeper Ali Shaaban      Qatar
23 Forward Mohammed Muddather      Sudan
24 Midfielder Omar Al-Amadi      Qatar
25 Defender Yousief Ramadan      Egypt
26 Defender Khalid Nawaf      Qatar
28 Forward Paulinho      Brazil
31 Defender Ahmed Dad      Qatar
33 Midfielder Mirel Rădoi      Romania
40 Goalkeeper Rajab Hamza      Qatar
77 Forward Mohammed Khalfan      Qatar
86 Midfielder Ashkan Dejagah      Iran
89 Midfielder Feras Mohammed      Qatar
90 Goalkeeper Mohsen Sowailem      Qatar
94 Midfielder Almass Farid      Qatar

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
Belgium FW Maxime Lestienne (at Italy Genoa)
Nigeria FW Imoh Ezekiel (at Belgium Standard)
No. Position Player
Belgium FW Paul-Jose M'Poku (at Italy Cagliari)

Players registered as professionals[edit]

QSL clubs are limited to 4 foreign professionals (3 + 1 Asian) per squad.[9]
Last update: 20 August 2014.[10]

Professional players

Non-professional foreigners

Club staff[edit]

Technical and administrative staff

Last updated: 23 June 2014.

Coaching staff
Head coach Uruguay Daniel Carreño
Assistant coach Moldova Emil Caras
Physical coach France Sébastien Braillard
Goalkeeper coach Brazil Orlando Ribecaro
Technical staff
Team manager Qatar Salah Al-Maliki
Deputy director Qatar Ali Sulaiti
Youth team technical director
Technical director France Christian Caminiti
Youth team coaching staff
U–19 head coach Morocco Mohamed Chaouch
U–17 head coach Netherlands Pieter In't Groen
U–15 head coach Qatar Hamad Hussein
U–14 head coach Tunisia Rafik Ben Alaya
Youth team technical staff
Head of youth teams Qatar Abdullah Jassim
Deputy director Qatar Saleh Al Mulla

Club officials[edit]

Managerial history[edit]

Present and past managers of Al-Arabi (incomplete):[11][12]
(* denotes caretaker role)

Al-Wehda (1957–72)[edit]

  • Egypt Tayeb Fadel (1957–??)
  • Egypt Hassan Djidjo (1968–??)
  • Qatar Ahmed Ali Al-Ansari (1969)

Al-Arabi (1972–present)[edit]

Former managers with unknown dates

  • Egypt Mohammed Atatash
  • Egypt J. Mustafa
  • Egypt Atha Al-Shatti
  • Egypt Hilmi Al-Qut
  • Egypt Medhat Mohammed
  • Tunisia Al-Makki
  • Brazil Flamarion Nunes
  • Qatar Ahmed Jassim Al-Jassim "Menotti"
  • Qatar Eid Mubarak


Position Staff
President Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi
General Secretary Nasser Al Hitmi
Director General Ahmed Al Emadi

Last updated: 8 October 2011
Source: Board of Directors


Asian clubs ranking[edit]

As of 1 January 2015.[14]
Current Rank Country Team
38 Indonesia Persib Bandung
39 China Tianjin Teda
40 Qatar Al-Arabi SC
41 Iran Malavan
42 Saudi Arabia Al-Taawon


  1. ^ "QSL - Al Arabi". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Alarabi Sports Club – History
  3. ^ صالح النعيمة ... المحارب الشهير يترك استراحته ويقول لـ "الحياة" (in Arabic). 20 May 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  4. ^ الدوري القطري تاريخ و نجوم (in Arabic). Al Jazeera Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  5. ^ – Al Arabi end Asian campaign on losing note
  6. ^ "السنياري : لن استمر مع العربي في الموسم المقبل". Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  7. ^ "العربي يغلق باب الترشح لانتخاباته في الثامنة مساء". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  8. ^ "Al Arabi Sports Club holds AGM". Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  9. ^ "اعتماد تسجيل أربعة لاعبين أجانب في الموسم الجديد". 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "موقع الكأس يرصد حركة الانتقالات قبل إنطلاق الدوري". 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Interview" (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  12. ^ مسابقة كأس سمو الأمير لكرة القدم المباريات النهائية (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "العربي يقيل زاماريو رسميا". 22 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Asia Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 

External links[edit]