Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday received the chairman and members of the committee supervising the merger of Al Shabab, Dubai and Al Ahli clubs into one club.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the newly formed Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of the club, were present.
Shaikh Mohammad welcomed the committee’s chairman, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, who is also director-general of Dubai’s Protocol and Hospitality Department, and other members of the committee including Ahmad Bin Humaidan, Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Abdul Latif Al Sayegh and Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, chairman of the asset management company assigned to manage the new club’s properties and assets.
He urged them to put all sound and necessary arrangements in place to accelerate the implementation of the merger of the three clubs into Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and enable it to stand up to challenges facing the local and regional sporting scene.
Shaikh Mohammad told the committee to make every possible effort to ensure the birth of a strong club that is able to compete locally, regionally and internationally in football.
He urged the fans of the three merged clubs to support the new club and wished the committee success in discharging its assignment, by taking advantage of lessons gleaned in previous experiences.
The meeting was also attended by Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Mattar Mohammad Al Tayer, deputy chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.
Sulaiman expressed his pride in the trust bestowed upon him and the committee’s members by Shaikh Mohammad and described it as a “big responsibility” to be shouldered by him and the committee’s members in serving the nation and national sport.
Dubai Club had just been promoted back to the Arabian Gulf League after finishing as runners-up in this season’s second division, while Al Ahli finished third in this season’s Arabian Gulf League. Al Shabab finished eighth.
Al Ahli were formed in 1970 and are based in Al Ghusais, while Al Shabab are based in Al Mamzar.
Al Ahli are the more successful of the three, with seven league titles and eight President’s Cup wins. They also reached the Asian Champions League final for the first time in their history in 2015.
Al Shabab, formed in 1958, have three league titles and four President’s Cup wins, while Dubai Club have never won the league or President’s Cup.