Welcome to all new members, players and readers this season!
Summer 2023 was a busy period for Middle East GAA, with 4 teams taking part in Men’s Football, Ladies Football, Camogie and Hurling at the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games in Derry. Thank you and well done to our players, coaches and referees from the region who represented the Middle East with distinction. Congratulations in particular to our Hurling team who were crowned World Games Hurling Champions after a brilliant victory over Australasia GAA. Our teams were generously supported by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, Éire Gulf, NuLumenTek, Jones Engineering, and Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club. Thank you all.
The 2023 Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce Middle East League began in the Garden City of Al Ain on September 29th, when Round 1 of the Hurling and Camogie Leagues was held at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club resort. A 3pm start time progressed into “Friday Night Lights”, which ensured participation of all teams from across the region, notwithstanding differing weekend periods in various countries. 23 teams and approximately 350 players took to the field in Senior, Intermediate and Junior competitions, played out in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Thank you to all who travelled to take part, and to our host club Al Ain GAA. Congratulations to our Round 1 winners: Abu Dhabi na Fianna – Senior Hurling; Dubai Celts – Senior Camogie; Jumeirah Gaels – Intermediate Hurling; Jumeirah Gaels – Intermediate Camogie; Al Ain GAA – Junior Camogie.
The following day, on September 30th, a course was held in Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club to upskill 20 new referees in the region, who will officiate in tournaments in the near future. Thank you to tutor Sean Stack, and to Padraig Dunne, for their work in officiating at our tournaments and developing referee candidates over the weekend. On the same day, Middle East GAA was represented at GAA Special Congress in Croke Park. 9 of 11 motions were passed, including a motion to establish gender balance in the membership of Association’s Central Council Management Committee (Coiste Bainistí) of a minimum of 40 per cent female or male representation.
The following weekend, on 6th & 7th of October, Round 1A of the AICC Middle East League (Football) was hosted by Dubai Celts at the Dubai Sevens Stadium, where almost 50 teams and over 600 players took part. Intermediate football was played on Friday evening while Senior and Junior A football took place on hot, sunny Saturday. Well done to all who took part, and to our tournament winners for Round 1A: Jumeirah Gaels (Ladies’ Senior), Jumeirah Gaels (Men’s Senior), Qatar GAA (Men’s Intermediate), Kerry Middle East (Ladies’ Intermediate), Dubai Celts (Ladies’ Junior A), and Laochra Gaels (Men’s Junior A). Comhghairdeas libh and thank you to host club Dubai Celts for all of their efforts..
Next up, Round 1B of the AICC Middle East League (Football) was hosted by Al Reem Shamrocks on October 13th. This tournament took place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi for Junior B, C and D divisions. On this occasion, 41 teams and over 600 players took part in competitive and sporting games which began at 3pm and continued into the night. Wewelcomed the presence of Deputy Head of Mission John Forde at the tournament and thank him for connecting with the Irish community in the area. Well done to our tournament winners for Round 1B: Sharjah Gaels (Ladies’ Junior B), Laochra Gaels (Men’s Junior B), RAK Ropairí (Ladies’ Junior C), Dubai Celts (Men’s Junior C), and Naomh Alee (Ladies Junior D). Comhghairdeas libh! Thank you also to our host club Al Reem Shamrocks for their efforts.
League tables can be found on the fixtures and results tab of our website and will be updated following the completion of each round. Middle East GAA wishes to extend a sincere thank you to all host clubs, club committees and members for planning the events, along with all those who travelled from near and far to each tournament. Thank you to our referees for facilitating our tournaments. Without their help our events would not take place, so we encourage all of our members in the region to help and support our referees in every way possible.
Finally, Middle East GAA wishes to thank our sponsors and supporters this season.
The Middle East League is proudly sponsored by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce. The official equipment partner of Middle East GAA is O’Neills.
Round 2 begins on 4th November, with a Hurling and Camogie tournament taking place in Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club. Arabian Celts will host Senior and Intermediate Football in Bahrain on November 11th, while Junior A, B, C and D football divisions will be held in Al Ain on November 17th and 18th.
A coach development course, “Introduction to Coaching Gaelic Games” will be available for all those interested, taking place online for 3 evenings in November with an in-person element to finish. All interested members are encouraged to speak to their club secretary for more information. Finally, ahead of a break for the Christmas period, the first of two Middle East GAA Juvenile tournaments will take place in Qatar on November 25th. There will be a lot of juvenile activity taking place during the month of November too. Please feel free to come along and get the kids involved!
Juvenile events in November
- November 4th - Abu Dhabi Na Fianna
- November 10th - Arabian Celts, Bahrain
- November 18th - Dubai Eire Og
- November 25th - Middle East Tournament in Doha, Qatar
A selection of photos from Round 1 can be viewed in the photo galleries on the MEDIA tab of our website and will be updated throughout the year.