Join a sports team in Abu Dhabi

Try cycling, football, rugby, ice hockey and dragonboating

You could be the next Lionel Messi, Virat Kohli or Victoria Pendleton but even the best sports stars need a team to play with.

Sport in Abu Dhabi is growing ever popular (and more accessible) and there are a host of clubs you can join to get in on the action.

Whether you get your kicks from football, want to try your hand at rugby or if cycling gets you in a spin, there’s never been a better time to join a sports team.

From keen-to-give-it-a-go amateur to in-it-to-win-it hotshot, there’s a club out there for you.

It’s a great way to get outside, meet new people, get yourself fit and indulge yourself in your favourite pastime.

We’ve rounded up a few of the best sports teams in Abu Dhabi for you to check out.

Football
Since forming in 1980, Abu Dhabi Strollers has grown from a handful of expats keen to have a kickabout to one of the capital’s most prominent amateur sports teams.

Around 70 hardy souls gather at Zayed Sports City each Monday to play an hour of the beautiful game with other members.
The club is run as a not-for-profit group, meaning any surplus money is always reinvested into club essentials such as kits and equipment.

And there’s a great social aspect, too, with regular team bonding events such as trips away and even the occasional brunch.
For more information on how to join, visit the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AbuDhabiStrollers.

Cycling
Now the summer temperatures have died down, it’s the perfect time of year to get on your bike and take to Abu Dhabi’s roads.
But if you want more than just a leisurely cycle, you should consider joining Raha Cycling, a club always on the lookout for
new members.

You can improve your short- and long-distance cycling ability and also work on your technique with some of the capital’s keenest cyclists.

Group rides on Friday and Saturday mornings, which often pass the 100km mark, are the perfect way to get out and explore the city on two wheels.
For more information on how to join, visit the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/raharevolution.



Rugby
You name it, Abu Dhabi Harlequins have won it. The UAE Premiership, West Asia Premiership, West Asia Champions League, Dubai 7s, West Asia Cup and UAE Conference – all conquered by the capital’s rugby stars.
From under-fives to senior, the club caters for all ages and abilities in both sexes and prides itself in fostering an amazing community spirit between members.

Meanwhile, rivals Abu Dhabi Saracens might not have the decades of history as the Quins, but they are intent on establishing themselves at the upper echelons of UAE rugby.

Both clubs are always keen on attracting new members, so check them both out and pick a side.
For more information, visit www.abudhabiquins.com and www.saracensabudhabi.com.

Cricket
At the beginning of 2018, Abu Dhabi Cricket launches its ladies' cricket team, with members that range from four years old to 40. Training is held once a week and anyone from first timers to experienced ex-pros can join in.

Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium also plays host to Abu Dhabi Gentlemen's Cricket Club. The team practice every Wednesday night and play most Saturdays. Again, all levels of skill are welcome. There's a Dhs200 fee to join then an annual fee of Dhs600 after that. 

Visit www.abudhabicricket.ae/ladies or emailmelani@abudhabicricket.ae for more information on the ladies team. Gents can check out www.adgcc.org

Ice Hockey
Yes, yes, we know. Ice hockey in the desert really is a thing.

In fact, Zayed Sports City boasts a top-class ice rink some of the world’s biggest winter sports cities would be envious of.

There are teams, training and practice sessions available for men, women and juniors. You can borrow some equipment,
but being able to ice skate proficiently is a requirement of joining the club.
For more information on training programmes and teams, visit www.adisc.ae or email icehockey@zsc.ae (02 444 5552).



Dragon Boat Racing
With beautiful weather and an abundance of great waterways, Abu Dhabi is a great place to check out one of the UAE’s coolest sports.

Dragon boat racing, similar to canoeing, but with a boat large enough to house a team of 22 people.

Yes, 22 people does sounds like a lot in one team, but that means 21 other people helping to share the effort required to move these giant vessels through the water at top speed.

There are at three popular dragon boat clubs in Abu Dhabi that train weekly and have active social calendars as well.

Check out Capital Dragons (www.capitaldragons.weebly.com), Al Bandar Dragon Boat Club (www.facebook.com/AlBandarDragonBoatTeam) and Desert Dragons (www.desertdragonsad.com).

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