The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a growing rugby scene, with the sport gaining popularity among both local Emiratis and expatriates living in the country. The UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF), founded in 2009, is the governing body for the sport in the country and works to promote and develop rugby at all levels.

Gulf Rugby has a long history in the UAE, with the first recorded match taking place in 1970. However, it wasn’t until the formation of the UAE Rugby Federation that the sport began to thrive in the country. The federation has worked tirelessly to establish rugby clubs and teams, as well as organising and hosting local, regional, and international tournaments.

One of the most significant events in UAE rugby history was the hosting of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2009. This was the first time the tournament had been held in the Middle East, and the UAE proved to be an excellent host. The tournament was a huge success, with fans from all over the world flocking to Dubai to watch the world’s best teams compete with an attendance of over 78,000 fans descending on The Sevens Stadium.

The success of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has helped to boost the profile of rugby in the UAE, and the sport has continued to grow in popularity. There are now a number of rugby clubs and teams in the country, providing opportunities for players of all ages and abilities to get involved in the sport. These clubs compete in local leagues and tournaments, as well as participating in regional competitions such as the Arabian Gulf Cup.

In addition to its clubs and teams, the UAE also has a number of excellent facilities for rugby. The 7he Sevens Stadium, built specifically for the Rugby World Cup Sevens, is a state-of-the-art venue that is used for both local and international matches. There are also a number of other pitches and training facilities throughout the country that are suitable for rugby.

UAE International Rugby Action

uae national rugby team

The UAE International rugby squad are made up of home grown Emirati rugby talent as well as local expats who qualify through their residents visas. The UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) became a full member of World Rugby in 2011. The national XV’s team have participated in the Asian 5 Nations up until the format change in 2014 where it is now the Asia Rugby Sevens Series (7s) and the Asia Rugby Championship (15s). In 2019 the UAE National squad were promoted into Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Championship having beaten Thailand in the cup final.

The United Arab Emirates mens rugby team are currently ranked 63rd in the World Rugby Rankings.