Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)

Not to be confused with Al-Arabi SC (Kuwait).
Al-Arabi SC
Full name Al-Arabi Sports Club (Arabic: النادي العربي الرياضي)
Nickname(s) "Fareeg Al-Ahlam" ("The Dream Team"), "The Red Devils", "Century Club in Qatar"
Short name ARB
Founded 1952 (1952)
Ground Grand Hamad Stadium
Doha, Qatar
Ground Capacity 13,000
President Hitmi bin Ali Al-Hitmi
Head Coach Gerardo Pelusso
League Qatar Stars League
2015–16 Qatar Stars League, 8th
Website Club home page
Al Arabi's active sections







Al-Arabi Sports Club (Arabic: النادي العربي الرياضي), is a Qatari sports 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)

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.


Golden era (1990–2000)

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)

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.[3]

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)

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.[4] As a result, the club's Director of Football, Mubarak Mustafa, announced his departure from the club.[5] Furthermore, Dr. Abdullah al-Mal, president of the club, announced his retirement from sports.[6] 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.[7]

The title of Dream Team

Al Arabi Club called by the nickname " Dream Team ", an old launched by the local press in the season title (1992/1993) proportions team American dreams of basketball where the team has achieved in the early nineties all titles and was the win significant results of all the teams at least three goals in every game.

Most notably Matches at that time, win 6–1 against Al Rayyan, Win 9–0 against Al itthad ( Al Gharafa), and win 6–0 against Al Ahli.

Al Arabi Fans Club

Al Arabi Fans Club was established on October 21, 2015, it was created to support the team in all Sports and to gather the fans to think of innovative ways to support and cheer the teams throughout the season [8] in October 21, 2015, The same day the Fan Club was established, Al Arabi Club management decided to withhold the Number (1) jersey permanently from the list of the first team players and award it to the Fans, whom officially became the number (1) player in Al Arabi Club, Where Captain Masoud Zeraei waived his number (1) and awarded it to the Fans, who will retains its permanently under resolution. They have the most supportes in Qatar and that is one of the reasons why the gave them shirt number (1).


Main article: Grand Hamad Stadium

Grand Hamad Stadium (Arabic: استاد حمد الكبير), also known as the Al-Arabi Sports Club Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Doha, Qatar. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The football team Al-Arabi SC play there. The stadium holds 13,000 people. The stadium was used extensively during the 2006 Asian Games, and was a venue for several different sports; these include football, table tennis, rugby sevens and fencing. Iraq national football team played their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) games at the ground. Now they use the Stadium as a home for Yemen national football team in 2015 Fifa World qualification (AFC).


Al Rayyan

Al Rayyan and Al Arabi are often the most considered the most passionate sets of fans in Qatar. This derby known as "Fans Derby".


From 1994–2015.

Competition P W D L GF GA GD
Qatar Stars League471116206284−22
Sheikh Jassem Cup431082+6
Emir Cup511357−2
Crown Prince Cup7115616−10
Reserve League41121113−2
Qatar Stars Cup100102−2

Al Sadd

This is the clash of Qatar's two most successful teams: Al Sadd and Al Arabi. For some fans, winning this derby is more noteworthy than winning the league itself. The derby is an important component of the country's culture.[9]

Al Arabi always regarded themselves as the club of Qatar's working class, in contrast with the more upper-class support base of Al Sadd. The social class divide between the two fan bases eventually diminished.[9]

Memorable matches

Bold indicates a win.

Season Result Competition Notes
1981–82 0–1 Emir Cup
1985–86 1–0 Emir Cup
1992–93 2–0 Emir Cup
1995–96 0–0 Qatar Stars League Al Arabi crowned champions.
2009–10 3–3 Qatar Stars League Al Sadd come back from 3–0 down to deny Al Arabi an ACL spot.


From 1996–2015.

Competition P W D L GF GA GD
Qatar Stars League471312225281−29
Sheikh Jassem Cup6105813−5
Emir Cup113261118−7
Crown Prince Cup1101330
Reserve League4022410−6
Qatar Stars Cup4121812−4



23 official championships.

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
Winners (1): 2010
Regional competitions
Winners (5): 1982, 1983, 1989, 1990, 1997
Winner (1): 1993
Winners (2): 1986, 1996

League results

Qatar Stars League

Performance in AFC competitions

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

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


As of Qatar Stars League:

No Position Player Nation
12 Goalkeeper Mohammed Mubarak      Qatar
33 Goalkeeper Masoud Zeraei      Qatar
40 Goalkeeper Rajab Hamza      Qatar
96 Goalkeeper Loaay Ashor      Qatar

2 Defender Yousef Ramadan      Qatar
3 Defender Rami Fayez      Qatar
9 Defender Mohammed Salem      Qatar
13 Defender Moustapha Sall      Senegal
17 Defender Vivien Assie Koua      Ivory Coast
18 Defender Ahmed Al-Nahwi      Qatar
24 Defender Mohammed Al-Alawi      Qatar
26 Defender Khaled Nawaf      Qatar
27 Defender Feras Mohammed      Qatar

4 Midfielder Omar Al-Amadi      Qatar
5 Midfielder Abdullah Marafee      Qatar
6 Midfielder Ali Jasimi      Qatar
7 Midfielder Ahmad Khalfan      Qatar
8 Midfielder Ahmed Fatehi      Qatar
10 Midfielder Boualem Khoukhi      Qatar
11 Midfielder Mohammed Al Kuwari      Qatar
15 Midfielder Talal Al-Bloushi      Qatar
21 Midfielder Abdullah Al-Oraimi      Qatar
23 Midfielder Ahmed Abdul Maqsoud      Qatar
25 Midfielder Mohammed Shaaban      Qatar
30 Midfielder Luis Antonio Jiménez      Chile
87 Midfielder Wagner Ribeiro      Brazil

14 Forward Mohammed Khalfan      Qatar
19 Forward Ibrahim Nasser      Qatar
20 Forward Yusef Ahmed      Qatar
28 Forward Paulinho      Brazil
39 Forward Imoh Ezekiel      Nigeria

Players with Multiple Nationalities

Players registered as professionals

QSL clubs are limited to 4 foreign professionals (3 + 1 Asian) per squad.[10]
Last update: 20 August 2014.[11]

Professional players

Non-professional foreigners

Club staff

Technical and administrative staff

Last updated: July 2015.

Coaching staff
Head coach Uruguay Gerardo Pelusso
Assistant coach Netherlands Pieter In't Groen
Physical coach France Sébastien Braillard
Goalkeeper coach Brazil Orlando Ribecaro
Technical staff
Team manager Qatar Adel Al Busairi[12]
Reserve team manager Qatar Hamad Al-Sulaiti[12]
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 Morocco Merouane Kerbache
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

Managerial history

Present and past managers of Al-Arabi (incomplete):[13][14]
(* denotes caretaker role)

Al-Wehda (1957–72)

Al-Arabi (1972–present)

Former managers with unknown dates


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

Last updated: 8 October 2011
Source: Board of Directors


  • Qatar Muqbal bin Ali Hitmi (1972–76)
  • Qatar Abdulrahman Al Jaber Muftah (1976–78)
  • Qatar Sultan Khaled Al-Suwaidi (1978–88)
  • Qatar Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Al-Mal (1988–00)
  • Qatar Sheikh Jassim bin Fahad bin Jassim Al-Thani (2000–01)

  • Qatar Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Jaber Al-Thani (2001–02)
  • Qatar Sheikh Falah bin Jassim Al-Thani (2002–06)
  • Qatar Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al-Thani (2006–09)
  • Qatar Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Al-Mal (2009–12)
  • Qatar Hitmi bin Ali Al Hitmi (2012–)

Club rankings

National ranking

As of 1 January 2015.[16]
Current Rank Country Team Points
5 Qatar Al Gharrafa 1384
6 Qatar Qatar SC 1363
7 Qatar Al-Arabi SC 1357
8 Qatar Umm Salal 1302
9 Qatar Al Kharaitiyat SC 1281

Asian ranking

As of 1 January 2015.[16]
Current Rank Country Team Points
74 Qatar Qatar SC 1365
75 Japan Vegalta Sendai 1361
76 Qatar Al-Arabi SC 1359
77 Japan Albirex Niigata 1356
78 Iran Esteghlal Khuzestan 1356

World ranking

As of 1 January 2015.[16]
Current Rank Country Team Points
812 Canada Vancouver Whitecaps 1360
813 Nigeria Dolphins FC 1360
814 Qatar Al-Arabi SC 1360
815 Italy Cesena 1360
816 Sudan Al Khartoum SC 1360


  1. "QSL – Al Arabi". Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  2. Alarabi Sports Club – History
  3. الدوري القطري تاريخ و نجوم (in Arabic). Al Jazeera Sports. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  4. – Al Arabi end Asian campaign on losing note
  5. "السنياري : لن استمر مع العربي في الموسم المقبل". Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  6. "العربي يغلق باب الترشح لانتخاباته في الثامنة مساء". Retrieved 2012-05-17.
  7. "Al Arabi Sports Club holds AGM". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  9. 1 2 "Al Sadd vs Al Arabi". QFA. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
  10. "اعتماد تسجيل أربعة لاعبين أجانب في الموسم الجديد". 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  11. "موقع الكأس يرصد حركة الانتقالات قبل إنطلاق الدوري". 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  12. 1 2 "Al Arabi appoints Al Busairi as first team manager". Qatar Stars League. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  13. "Interview" (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  14. مسابقة كأس سمو الأمير لكرة القدم المباريات النهائية (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  15. "العربي يقيل زاماريو رسميا". 22 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  16. 1 2 3 "Asia Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking". Retrieved 14 November 2015.

External links

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