Top 10 most popular sports in UAE of all time (2024) – Sports in UAE

most popular sports in UAE of all time

In the dynamic world of the United Arab Emirates, where heritage meets contemporary, a kaleidoscope of sports has knitted itself into the very fabric of the national character. This eclectic assortment of sports represents the UAE’s dynamic tapestry, from renowned cricket grounds echoing with the thud of leather on willow to the explosive excitement of football stadiums, peaceful vistas of golf courses, and the high-speed drama of Formula 1 circuit. This article will tell you about the 10 most popular sports in UAE of all time.

In the shadows of towering buildings and against the background of limitless desert vistas, these sports are more than simply games; they are cultural phenomena that bring people together and reflect the desire for greatness that characterises this country. As we look at the top ten most popular sports in the UAE, we’ll go into the heart of a nation where sports have evolved from simple competition to become a shared passion and a monument to the spirit of a forward-thinking and culturally rich culture.

Most popular sports in UAE of all time

PositionSports Name
8Rugby union
5Formula 1
10 most popular sports in UAE of all time

What is this list about?

This ranking is based on how much people in UAE like various sports. Not how excellent they are at them. It grades sports based on how much the audience enjoys and interacts with them. Rather than how talented the participants are. So it’s all about popularity and what people like, rather than assessing physical ability.

Note – This list is based on data from the 21st century and talks about the popularity of different sports in UAE this century.

10. Boxing is the 10th most popular sport in UAE of all time.

Boxing has evolved as a dynamic force in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sports environment, nestled in the sweltering Arabian desert where sands meet contemporary wonders. The sweet science has gained a devoted following in the UAE, with cutting-edge facilities like as the Round 10 Boxing Club in Dubai drawing both amateurs and pros.

The UAE’s dedication to sports greatness is shown by its backing for events like the Dubai Boxing Championship, which showcases both local and international pugilistic ability. As the sport becomes more integrated into the cultural fabric of this lively country, UAE boxers are making waves throughout the world, with rising stars like Fatima Al Ali shattering gender limits and inspiring a new generation of fighters.

The ring in the UAE reverberates not just with the rhythmic thud of gloves, but also with a tremendous sense of commitment and sportsmanship.

9. Running is the 9th most popular sport in UAE of all time.

Running is a popular activity in the UAE, and there are plenty of great areas to explore on foot in Abu Dhabi. The Al Wathba Cycle course, surrounded by kilometres of desert, provides a 30-kilometre course for runners with stunning views, particularly at dawn and dusk.

Additionally, the Zayed Sports City has a 400m oval track and a 1.4km track that loops around the national stadium, where regular running races are conducted during the colder months. While running is a popular contemporary activity, traditional sports such as camel racing play an important role in the UAE’s athletic culture.

Camel racing is a traditional Middle Eastern sport that is most popular in the UAE, where it takes place between October and April. The sport has achieved a worldwide reputation, thanks to modern training techniques and hefty awards for winners. As a result, the UAE provides a mix of contemporary and traditional sports activities, appealing to a wide spectrum of interests.

8. Rugby union is the 8th-most popular sport in UAE.

Rugby union has found an unexpected but ardent home in the UAE, where dunes meet the dazzling skyline. Its fans in the UAE have built a devoted community against the background of towering buildings and the searing heat.

The sport has grown significantly, with local clubs such as the Dubai Exiles and Jebel Ali Dragons serving as centres for both expats and Emiratis. The UAE Rugby Federation, established in 2009, has played an important role in promoting the game by organising leagues and tournaments that draw players from a variety of backgrounds.

As the sport develops popularity, the UAE’s national rugby squad continues to advance, participating both locally and internationally. The combination of scrums and cityscapes offers a distinct image of rugby’s durability and flexibility in this vibrant desert country.

7. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in UAE of all time.

Basketball is becoming more popular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), notably in the capital, Abu Dhabi. Although the UAE has never qualified for the Basketball World Cup, competed in the Olympics, or sent a player to the NBA, the sport is gaining popularity in the nation.

The United Arab Emirates Basketball Association (UAEBA) is the UAE’s regulatory organisation for basketball, overseeing both the national and youth teams. The UAE National Basketball Competition, formed in 2013, is the country’s highest professional competition, with ten clubs.

Shabab Al Ahli is the most decorated team in the league, having won nine out of 10 titles. The Dubai Tribe Basketball Club is the first UAE club to participate in the United States and Europe, and its best players have done so practically every year since 2012. The club has produced USA NCAA players, and its alumni have won university basketball scholarships and played at the university level in the Middle East, and Europe. And North America, participated in national team programmes and competed at the semi-professional and professional levels.

6. Swimming is one of the most popular sports in UAE of all time.

Swimming develops as both a leisure refuge and a competitive goal in the sun-soaked UAE. Where dazzling skyscrapers meet the blue embrace of the Persian Gulf. With temperatures often reaching scorching heights, the UAE’s dedication to aquatic excellence is obvious in its cutting-edge facilities. And a burgeoning population of swimmers.

The Hamdan Sports Complex is an aquatic wonder in Dubai. Serves as a tribute to this dedication by holding international swimming events. The warm waters of the Gulf provide an ideal training environment. And the UAE has produced athletes such as Olympic swimmer Obaid Al Jasmi.

Swimming in the UAE has become more than simply a sport as Emiratis effortlessly cut through the crystalline waves. Celebrating the nation’s dynamic spirit, where tradition and modernity coexist in the seas of possibilities.

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in UAE of all time

5. Formula 1 is the 5th most popular sport in UAE of all time.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, held in the United Arab Emirates since 2009, is a Formula One race. The event will take place in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. Which has not been listed on the F1 calendar since 2013.

The UAE is an oil-rich nation, and Abu Dhabi is a significant contributor to the economy. In the history of Formula One, no team has been headquartered in the United Arab Emirates or Abu Dhabi. And no racing drivers have come from the nation.

4. Tennis is one of the most popular sports in UAE of all time.

Tennis has developed as both a sport and a spectacle in the UAE’s spectacular terrain. Where sparkling skyscrapers meet golden dunes. With cutting-edge facilities such as the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium. The UAE has solidified its position on the world tennis map.

The famous Dubai Tennis Championships, a WTA. And ATP tournament, draws elite players from all over the globe, adding an exciting chapter to the region’s athletic history. Tennis fever is not limited to the professional ranks. The UAE Tennis Association aggressively promotes the sport at the grassroots level, developing a new generation of talent.

Tennis in the UAE is a harmonic combination of history. And creativity set against a contemporary background, resulting in a distinct and vibrant tennis culture in this desert paradise.

3. Golf is the 3rd most popular sport in UAE of all time.

Golf in the UAE has expanded significantly since the establishment of the Emirates Golf Club in 1988. Converting the desert terrain into a popular golfing destination. The country’s golf reputation has grown significantly, with 21 clubs currently under the Emirates Golf umbrella. Including world-class facilities in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, and Ras-al-Khaimah.

The UAE features professional events including the Dubai Desert Classic and the Ladies Masters. Which draws elite players and aficionados from all over the globe. The history of golf in the UAE stretches back to the 1970s and 1980s when sand golf was the standard, but it has since transformed into a worldwide golf powerhouse, delivering world-class courses and fueling the game’s growth.

2. Football is the 2nd most popular sport in UAE.

Football is a cultural cornerstone in the complex tapestry of sports that constitute the United Arab Emirates, woven into the very fabric of Emirati life. This sport in the UAE is more than a game; it’s a social celebration, as seen by the passionate cries of enthusiastic spectators. And the immaculately groomed grounds dotting the desert landscape.

The UAE Pro League, which includes clubs such as Al Ain FC and Al Jazira Club, raises the level of competition, recruiting foreign players and cultivating a vibrant football culture. The country has made tremendous progress on the international level, hosting tournaments like the FIFA Club World Cup.

As the sun sets over the gleaming metropolis, the clamour of the audience and the skilled dance of the ball capture the spirit of football, connecting a varied country via the global language of this magnificent game.

1. Cricket is the most popular sport in UAE of all time.

Cricket is a prominent sport in the UAE, where the Emirates Cricket Board serves as the regulating body. The UAE national cricket team has competed in many International Cricket Council (ICC) events, including the ICC World Cricket League, the ICC Intercontinental Cup, and the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.

The Sharjah Cricket venue has held the most One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in a single venue, with 240. The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi is another well-known monument in the UAE, having hosted international cricket matches.

It is the UAE’s largest cricket venue, having a seating capacity of over 25,000. The stadium’s cutting-edge features include a retractable roof, which allows for continued play regardless of weather conditions.

Cricket is the most popular sport in UAE of all time
Cricket is the most popular sport in UAE of all time.


In the vivid tapestry of sports that has weaved its way into the heart of the UAE, these selected eleven serve as cornerstones, displaying a wide range of enthusiasm and talent. The UAE’s passion for sports is both subtle and dynamic, ranging from the rhythmic crack of a cricket bat to the thundering chants of a football stadium, the tranquil greens of a golf course, and the adrenaline-fueled speed of Formula 1.

This varied combination, ranging from the strategic subtlety of tennis to the raw strength of boxing, not only reflects the global sports environment. But also captures the character of a country that values greatness in all its manifestations. These sports are more than simply games; they are threads that connect communities, and nurture aspirations. And express a spirit of competitiveness that crosses boundaries.

As the sun sets over the desert dunes, these sports remain more than just hobbies; they are cultural emblems engraved into the very spirit of the UAE. Allowing both locals and international enthusiasts to participate in the symphony of athletic brilliance that resonates through the sands of time.


For generating this list we looked for the help of Google Trends. If you wish you may verify our facts you can visit the site given and validate it by utilizing the tools offered by the site. This list was the outcome of our study on that specific website.

Hi, buddy! Welcome aboard our sporting adventure in UAE! We’re thrilled to have you join us in discussing our top 10 sports. Your keen eye is like an expert at detecting anomalies in our list. Share your knowledge, and we’ll be all ears, like huddling around a warm fire on a cold night. Your ideas, my friend, are like buried jewels, and we want to soak them up. Let’s tell some stories of sporting shenanigans from across the globe for a good chuckle. Your ideas are like pearls in our collection, and we can’t wait to hear what delicious combinations you’re cooking up. Here’s to you, Sir—cheers!

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Question and Answer

Which is the most popular sport in UAE of all time?

Cricket is the most popular sport in the UAE.

What is the most popular sport in the UAE?

Cricket is the most popular sport in the UAE.

What is the 2nd most popular sport in UAE?

Football is the 2nd most popular sport in UAE.

What is the 3rd most popular sport in UAE?

Golf is the 3rd most popular sport in UAE.

What is the fastest growing sport in the UAE?

Cricket is the fastest growing sport in the UAE.

What is the sport of Abu Dhabi?

Cricket, Football and Golf are the sports of Abu Dhabi.

What is Dubai favorite sport?

Cricket is Dubai’s favourite sport.

Most popular sports in Dubai?

Cricket, Football, Golf, Tennis, Formula 1 and Swimming are the most popular sports in Dubai.

What are the most popular sports in the United Arab Emirates?

Cricket, Football, Golf, Tennis, Formula 1 and Swimming are the most popular sports in UAE.

What are the most watched sports in the United Arab Emirates?

Cricket is the most watched sport in the United Arab Emirates.

Is golf a popular sport in the United Arab Emirates?

Golf is the 3rd most popular sport in UAE of all time.

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