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Super Club: Three of Dubai's biggest football teams merge

Al-Ahli are one of the UAE's biggest clubs [AFP]

Date of publication: 17 May, 2017

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Dubai Club, al-Ahli and al-Shabab have announced the formation of a super club that will be ready to challenge with world's football titans.
Three of Dubai's biggest football teams announced a merger into a super club on Tuesday, in the latest union between the Gulf's biggest sporting names. 

Dubai Club, al-Ahli and al-Shabab have all agreed to unite into a single entity known as Shabab al-Ahli Dubai, and the regional powerhouse will compete in the UAE's Arabian Gulf League next season.

Assets, players and properties of the three clubs will be amalgamated into a single entity with immediate effect, The National reported, after ambitious Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum ordered the merger.

The Dubai Sheikh has high hopes for the club, saying he wants Shabab al-Ahli Dubai to compete among the world's best teams.

"Our objective is to build a club that can compete regionally and globally," said Maktoum in a tweet, according to Dubai Media Office.

The UAE football association will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the decision, but the announcement was welcomed by the Emirates' FA president.

"We welcome the wise decision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum," said Marwan bin Ghalita in a statement. "We wish every success for Shabab al-Ahli Dubai Club."

Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed will serve as the new super club's president and Shabab al-Ahli Dubai will be headquartered at Dubai Club's current site.

The tie-up follows a regional trend with two of Qatar's most successful teams - Lekhwiya and El-Jaish - announcing a merger last month.

Two Sharjah clubs - Sharjah and al-Shaab - also announced they would unite into one team known as Sharjah Cultural Club, following an announcement by the emirate's ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi.

This follows reports of UAE clubs suffering from financial problems and have been told to rein in spending.


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