Football attracts a fervent following in Dubai – as throughout the Gulf – with local TV stations serving up an endless stream of both local and European games, including plenty of Premier League action. The UAE runs its own professional football league, UAE Arabian Gulf League, featuring fourteen participating teams, including four from Dubai, who compete in various tournaments including the Etisalat Pro-League and Etisalat Cup. The two biggest Dubai clubs are Al Wasl (walwaslsc.ae), who play at Zabeel Club (and were briefly managed by Diego Maradona in 2012), and Al Ahli (walahliclub.ae), who play at Rashid Stadium, and who are perhaps best known in the West for their unsuccessful attempts to headhunt the then Spurs manager Harry Redknapp in 2011. The UAE has also enjoyed considerable success at international level, winning the 2007 and 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations (the local equivalent of the European Championships) – although they’ve qualified for the World Cup just once, in 1990, losing all three games.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Dubai features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 things every family must do in Dubai

6 things every family must do in Dubai

Dubai is the most spectacular playground on Earth. The desire to make everything bigger and brighter and better has created a city of superlatives – and for w…

15 Jun 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

One of Dubai’s main attractions and currently the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa draws in hundreds of people daily to marvel at the views from i…

31 Jan 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

It’s big, brash and lays claim to so many world records it might even have the world record for the number of world records. But beyond the superlatives, skys…

22 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right