How many competitions & leagues are there? Confused? Here’s our guide

Guide To UAE Rugby Competitions

Confused about all of the Cups, Trophies and Championships going on at the moment? Who’s won what and whats still up for grabs? We’ll attempt to clear things up for you here.

[Reading time: about 4 hours, no seriously… this is quality toilet reading time!!!] or just use the links below to skip to the bits that you’re interested in.

UAE Premiership League 2017/18

The UAE Premiership is the top tier league consisting of domestic rugby clubs; Dragons, Eagles, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes and Saracens. Each team plays each other twice throughout the season in a league format with 4 points being awarded for a win, a bonus point awarded for scoring 4 or more tries and an additional bonus point for losing the match by 7 points or less.

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Once each team has played each other twice, the top two teams then qualify for a grand final match (13th April 2018) to see who will be crowned UAERF Premiership Champions.

UAE Premiership Cup 2017/18

The UAE Premiership Cup, is a knockout competition between all six rugby clubs in the Premier League. The top two teams get a bye, whilst the other four have knockout stages to whittle it down to two semi finals. The two winners then face off in the Premiership Cup final. This year, Harlequins beat Exiles in the final to lift the UAE Premiership Cup.

West Asia Premiership League 2017/18

The West Asia Premier League is the top tier league which consists of all six of the UAE Premiership teams and includes Bahrain and Doha (this year Doha were forced out of the competition due to international politics). Each team plays each other twice, BUT the matches played between local UAE teams count as UAE Premiership League fixtures. So basically, the West Asia Premier League and the UAE Premier League are the same thing as far as local UAE teams are concerned. Still with us?? Try to stick with it!!

This year (2017/18), Jebel Ali Dragons were crowned West Asia Premier League Champions because they were top of the league after all fixtures had been played.

West Asia Cup 2017/18

The West Asia Cup is a separate knockout competition between the top four finishing teams in the league. Two semi finals are played. This year (2017/18) the 1st placed team (Dragons) played 4th placed team (Exiles), while 2nd placed team (Harlequins) played 3rd placed team (Bahrain*). Both Exiles and Bahrain won their games so face each other in the final to see who will lift the West Asia Cup.


* The West Asia Premiership Rules and Regulations state that if at the conclusion of the pool stage, two teams are equal on competition points, then: The team that won the match between the two teams shall be deemed to have finished higher in the competition table.


West Asia Trophy 2917/18

The West Asia Trophy is again a separate knockout competition for the bottom 3 finishers in the West Asia Premier League. This year (2017/18) they were Hurricanes, Eagles and Saracens. Because Hurricanes finished in 5th position, they automatically qualify for the Trophy final, leaving Eagles and Saracens to fight it out for the remaining spot to face the Canes in the final. Last week, the Eagles beat Saracens, so they will play the Hurricanes in the West Asia Trophy competition.

UAE Conference League 2017/18

The Conference League competition is the second tier league consisting of nine local rugby clubs with in the UAE; Amblers, Dragons, Exiles, Harlequins, Hurricanes, Knights, Sharks, Tigers and Wanderers.

With all nine teams starting off in the one Conference League at the beginning of the season, they play each other once before the winter break. The table then splits into two, becoming a Top 5 League and Bottom 4 League. This season (2017/18) the tables did not reset to zero, but kept their tally of points and games played. Then each team plays each other once to decide who qualifies for the playoffs to reach the Conference Top 5 Final. The top four teams in the T5 play semi final knockout games. This year we have 1st placed Tigers playing 4th placed Harlequins and 2nd placed Wanderers playing 3rd placed Exiles. Th winners of these games will face off in the grand final (13th April 2018) to decide who will be overall UAE Conference Winners.

The UAE Conference Bottom 4 League again plays out in similar fashion to the Top 5 league, where each team plays each other once. Due to there being only four teams in this mini league, the top two placed teams play each other in a grand final (13th April 2018) to decide who will be the UAE Conference B4 Champions.

UAE Community League 2017/18

If only all of the other leagues were as simple as this one! The UAE Community League is the biggest and most competitive league in our opinion. Played out as a social third tier competition, the Community League consists of 12 teams (now 10 due to Sharks and Shaheen with drawing their teams); Amblers, Dragons, Eagles, Harlequins x 2, Hurricanes, Knights, Nomads, RAK Rugby and Saracens.

Each Community League fixture is played every other week with each team playing each other once. After all fixtures are completed, the 1st and second placed teams qualify to play each other in a grand final (13th April 2018) o decide who can take the title of UAE Community League Champions.

So… hopefully that has cleared a few things up. See it’s a clear as mud!!!

Here’s a simple summary…

UAE Premiership League Title (To be decided between Exiles vs Harlequins)
West Asia Premiership League Title (Won by Dragons)
West Asia Cup (To be decided between Bahrain vs Exiles)
West Asia Trophy (To be decided between Hurricanes vs Eagles)
UAE Conference T5 Title (To be decided between Exiles, Harlequins, Tigers and Wanderers)
UAE Conference B4 Title (To be decided between Amblers vs Dragons)
UAE Community League Title (To be decided between Dragons, Harlequins and Nomads)