Sports is always a spirit of any nation and the same goes for the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a land of sports legends, with a long and proud history of champions and world-class sportsmen and women. The UAE has produced sports stars in many different disciplines, from football superstars to record-breaking weightlifters. These legends of the sport have made the UAE proud, inspiring generations of future athletes and demonstrating just what is possible with hard work and dedication.
Let’s see some of the best sports legends who made it global.
Men Sports Legends Of UAE
Omar Abdulrahman is an Emirati professional footballer who plays for Al-Hilal in the Saudi Professional League. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the Middle East and is known for his dribbling, passing, and vision skills. He began his career with Al-Ain and also represented the UAE national team. Omar was the Asian Football Confederation’s Player of the Year in 2016 and has won the UAE Football League five times. He has also won the UAE President’s Cup and the GCC Champions League twice. He was a key member of the team which won the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and was named the tournament’s Best Player. His talent and skill have seen him become one of the most respected players in the region.
Ismail Matar is an Emirati footballer who plays for Al Wahda FC in the UAE Pro League and the United Arab Emirates national team. He is considered one of the best players in the Middle East and was ranked as the fourth-best player in Asia in 2009. He is a highly technical player with tremendous vision and passing accuracy, as well as an eye for goal. Matar has won multiple awards, including Asian Footballer of the Year in 2005 and 2007, and he captained his country to victory at the 2019 Asian Cup.
Abdulrahman Ibrahim is a former Emirati footballer born in 9 November 1974. He played as the center-back of the team. Abdulrahman was known as the best defender of his time and one of the favorite defenders to be chosen for the different UAE national teams: Youth, Olympic, and Men. He is recognized around the world for his long-range golden goal in the quarterfinal match against Iraq of the 1996 AFC Asian cup that was held in the United Arab Emirates.
Saleem Saleh is an Emirati chess player and was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 2009 by FIDE. Saleem competed in the FIDE World Cup in 2011, 2013, and 2015. He won three Youth Chess Championship titles; under 14 in 2007, 16 in 2008, and 18 in 2009. He also won the Emirati Chess Championship in 2008, 2011, and 2012. Saleh has many awards and recognition under his belt that make him the best sports legend in UAE.
Ali Mabkhout is an Emirati professional footballer who plays as a striker for Al Jazira and the United Arab Emirates national team. His accomplishments include winning the Pro League Golden Boot in 2014–15, being named Asian Footballer of the Year in 2015, and winning the Asian Cup with his national team in 2019. He is also a two-time winner of the UAE President’s Cup and has helped Al Jazira win three league titles.
Relevant: Top Entrepreneurs of UAE: Innovators Shaping the Future of Business
Habib Fardan is an Emirati football player who currently plays for Ittihad Kalba in the UAE Pro League. Born in Dubai, he made his professional debut in 2009 and has since become one of the most important players. He is known for his speed, agility, and ability to score from a long distance. As a result, Habib is one of the most sought-after players in the UAE Pro League.
Khalid Essa is an Emirati professional football player who currently plays for Al Ain Club and the United Arab Emirates national team as a goalkeeper. He made his senior debut in 2013 and has since gone on to represent his country at the 2019 Asian Cup, where they finished in second place. Essa has also represented his club in the UAE Pro-League, the AFC Champions League, and the Arabian Gulf Cup.
He also has played against some of the top players in the world including Mohammed Al Deayea (Suadi Footballer). And more.
GulfNews: 50 sports stars who call the UAE home
Womens Sports Legends Of UAE
Aisha Al Balushi
Ayesha Shahriyar Mohammed Al-Balooshi is an Emirati weightlifter. She competes in the 58 kg category and represents the United Arab Emirates at the international competition. She first appeared in Pan Arab Games held in Doha, Qatar. Ayesha also competed twice in the World Championship in 2010 and 2014 held in Antalya, Turkey, and Almaty, Kazakhstan respectively.
Amna Al Haddad
Amna Al Haddad is a United Arab Emirates weightlifter and CrossFit athlete. She was the first female weightlifter from the UAE to compete in the Reebok CrossFit Games. Later on, she joined the Asia Crossfit Team in Korea. She also represented her country at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Arnold Festival.
Fatima Al Ali
Fatima Al Ali is an Emirati ice hockey player who is a member of the UAE Women’s National Ice Hockey Team. She is the first Arab woman to play ice hockey professionally in North America and has been playing since 2011. Fatima has played in tournaments such as the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships and the Arab Cup of Nations.
Amna Al Qubaisi
Amna Al Qubaisi is a professional racing driver from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She is the first Emirati female to participate in motorsports test programming formula. Amna has a strong passion for motorsport and has competed in many regional and international events, including the Formula 4 UAE Championship, F3 Asian Championship, Formula Regional European Championship, and Italian F4 Championship. She continues to strive for excellence in her racing career and aims to inspire young Emirati women to follow their dreams.
Nada Al-Bedwawi is a professional swimmer from the United Arab Emirates. She is a two-time Olympian, having competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She started her swimming career at the age of 14 and was looking forward to taking part in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 but due to certain health situations, she had to stop.
There are many other names like Majed Naser, Marium Al Kabi, Betlhem Desalegn, and more who have done a lot of work to make their country proud. Their achievements have set a new standard in the country and have inspired many people to take up sports. They are an inspiration to the youth of the UAE and will be remembered for generations to come. These sports legends are the epitome of hard work, determination, and excellence, which have contributed to their success in the world of sports. They have truly made the UAE a global leader in the field of sports and their legacy will live on forever.
And it is not stopping here but the country is moving to raise the standards and create a genuine awareness about the sports and their importance for the country and its people.