Al Jazira were founded in 1974 as a merger between two existing Abu Dhabi-based clubs, Al Khalidiyah and Al Bateen. The idea behind the club's establishment was to give young people the best possible platform to play sport and hone their talents. A number of high-profile figures have held roles in the club's hierarchy: Mohammed Khalifa Al-Kindi was their first President, a position he occupied for 12 years before being replaced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who served as the President of the Board of Directors, the Honorary President and the President of the Honorary Board, while Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is currently both the club President and the vice-president of the Honorary Board. The club's Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium has hosted several major events, including the 2009 and 2010 FIFA Club World Cups.
After taking a while to make their mark, Al Jazira have enjoyed a rich run of success in recent times. Indeed, they have written their name in Emirati football history over the last decade, winning two league titles, three UAE President's Cups, one UAE Federation Cup and one GCC Champions League, among other titles. It is on the strength of their recent second league conquest that they will represent the host nation at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 provided that the winner of the AFC Champions League 2017 is not a club affiliated to the UAEFA (should a club from the UAE win the AFC Champions League 2017, then the runner-up of the AFC Champions League 2017 will replace Al Jazira at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017).
"We've built a solid side. The players have given a lot this season. They've shown that they have totally bought into our project and they know that this is just the beginning of our reign over Emirati football," said the club's coach, Henk ten Cate, after his charges were crowned league champions. The Dutchman – who took the reins in early 2016 and boasts a wealth of experience, including notably at the helm of Ajax and as an assistant at Barcelona and Chelsea – knows that taking part in the Club World Cup could help Al Jazira kick on and progress to the next level.
Facts and figures
Mohammed Salem Al Enazi, Abdulsalam Jumaa, Subait Khater, Helal Saeed, Phillip Cocu, Fernando Baiano, Ricardo Oliveira, Lucas Neill, Mirko Vucinic
Ali Khasif, Ali Mabkhout, Basheer Saeed, Abdullah Mousa, Khalfan Mubarak, Mbark Boussoufa, Ailton Almeida, Park Jongwoo
Al Jazira claimed the title by picking up 68 points from 26 matches, secured courtesy of 22 wins, two draws and only two defeats. They scored 72 goals in those games and conceded just 15.
The numbers game
33 – The number of goals scored by UAE international Ali Mabkhout in 26 matchdays, almost half of the club's tally in clinching the title.