Where to play women’s football in Dubai

From beginners to competitive players, here’s where to have a kick about

Where to play women’s football in Dubai

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off this weekend (Friday June 7), more eyes are on the game than ever before.

France, the winners of the FIFA World Cup in 2018, will play host to the 24-team tournament and it’s set to be highly followed by fans of the game around the globe.

But if you’re more interested in playing than watching, then there’s a growing football scene right here in Dubai.

Jessica Prelle, who runs the Women’s Training & League for the IFA, told Time Out Dubai that the sport is booming here in Dubai.

“We’ve seen a crazy amount of people getting in touch,” she said. “The Women’s World Cup helps, but it’s certainly becoming more popular as a sport in Dubai. I think that’s also because it’s easier to find places to play now. We run coaching and tournaments for everyone from beginners to experienced players. People just have to come down for a session to see what level they’re at.”
Looking for the chance to have a kick around, ladies? Here’s where to go.

Alliance Football Club
Also known as the “Alliance Family”, AFC bases its philosophy around the harmony between players. As well as learning the essential skills in becoming a footballer, the club also reinforces values including respect, support, resolution and realistic expectation. Whether you’re a beginner or have played at a higher level, the coaches have tailored programmes to every need.
Age (13+), Dhs1,400 (ten sessions), Dhs2,600 (20 sessions). Mon & Sat, 5.30pm-7pm. Sunmarke School, JVT, www.alliancefootballclub.com (056 393 0007).

IFA
There are both girls’ and women’s football at the IFA. Created by advanced youth coaches, IFA’s girls’ academy programme combines game-based skills with age-appropriate development. It also runs the girls seven-aside league. Match participation isn’t compulsory as IFA offers training. Meanwhile the women’s Training & League has more than 120 members and ten teams. IFA specialises in competitive seven-a-side football, which plays out in the IFA Ladies League on a weekly basis. Not a competitive player? Training sessions are available for complete beginners and there’s a new indoor five-aside series starting on Wednesday June 12 to play throughout the summer.
From Dhs95 (aged four to 14 years). Various locations including Al Quoz & Jumeirah, www.ifasport.com (04 454 1683). Women’s (aged 13 and over): from Dhs40. Various locations (056 894 5619).

Expat Football Association
Although there are no women’s only sessions, if you’re happy to play mixed games you can sign up here. Open to all nationalities in the UAE, the EFA caters to five-, seven- and 11-a-side football. Aside from the matches it also hosts mock press conferences and transfer windows to get players used to the professional side of the game. With an emphasis on the social side of football, all levels of talent are welcome.
Age (18+), Dhs150 (per game). Various locations including Jebel Ali, JLT, Al Quoz and Sheikh Zayed Road, www.efadubai.com (055 301 2865).

Elite Sports Academy
Elite Sports Academy has been around in the region for nearly a decade. It was launched by ex-Australian international Tim Cahill, alongside ex-England internationals Carlton Palmer and Trevor Sinclair. They are now launching a brand new football session
aimed at girls aged seven to 12. Training comes from UEFA coaches and sessions are based on dedication, competitiveness and maximising potential.
Age (7-12), Dhs100 (once a week), Dhs85 (two or more times a week), Horizon International School, Al Manara, www.elitesports.ae (04 554 5916).

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