…or should we say Project Saudi Pro League? 

From an official Manchester City football school to UEFA-certified LaLiga academy, there are plenty of football practices in Dubai where children from as little as two years old all the way up to 18, can get stuck in, learn new skills, meet new friends, stay active, and most importantly, have fun (and become the next Mbappé).

Here are 7 of the best football academies and clubs in Dubai: 

Barça Academy

barca academy

Where: GEMS Dubai American Academy, GEMS Wellington International School, and Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

The official training academy of Barcelona FC in Dubai, Barça Academy teaches boys and girls aged five to 16 years old. Using FC Barcelona’s methodology teaches a creative and attacking brand of football and promotes positive team values. It’s not only about becoming a better player but a better person. Training across a number of schools in Dubai, there’s also an all-girls program and a separate goalkeeping program.


Juventus Academy

juventus academy

Where: JLT, Umm Suqeim, Safa, Business Bay, Festival City, and Mirdif

Taking place across a number of different locations around Dubai, the Juventus Academy is suitable for children aged four to 17 years old. Voted the second-best youth academy in the Middle East, the experienced Juventus-approved coaches teach players the renowned ‘Juventus method’. With three levels of football, the coaches constantly monitor players’ performance and provide families with mid and end-of-term evaluations. What’s more, the academy flies to Italy for a week of immersive training at the stadium, staying at the J Hotel and paying a visit to the Juventus museum.


LaLiga Academy

ISD sports city

Where: ISD, Dubai Sports City

LaLiga is the first scouting academy in the UAE, holding the highest level of UEFA certification. Delivering a high level of Spanish football training, the academy develops player’s skills as well as football IQ. Some of the UAE’s top talents from the academy will be selected and enrolled in an exclusive three-week LaLiga Summer Training Camp in Spain. Plus, players have the opportunity to obtain a full four-year football scholarship to study at the best universities in the US and the UK. There are eight age groups, from under four years all the way up to under eighteen years.


Manchester City Football School

man city football school

Where: Nord Anglia School, Kent College, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, and Police Academy

Think your little one has what it takes to be the next Haaland? Perhaps the Manchester City football school is for you. Designed for boys and girls of all abilities, aged three to 18 years old, the academy teaches the Man City training and playing philosophy. There’s a separate session for aspiring goalkeepers as well as an all-girls program led by female coaches. Players can try the first session for free across all venues in Dubai.


Empire Football Club

Where: Safa Community School, Al Barsha South and Dubai College, Al Sufouh

Empire’s highly skilled coaches teach strong values, perseverance, and diligence as well as valuable techniques and skills of the beautiful game. Taking place at Safa Community School and Dubai College, the Empire team is like a second family for children aged four to 18 years old with a goal to identify, produce, and develop regional talent. With both a boys’ and girls’ academy, players will practice with in small groups of their age to ensure enough one-to-one time with their coach.


Alliance Football Club

Where: GEMS World Academy

Alliance Football Club has over 300 young members in Dubai. More than just football, its teachings of humility, hard work, and team-before-self go way beyond the pitch. Every season, members of the Alliance family donate their football kits to underprivileged children and young footballers in Africa. Alliance has a dedicated girls’ football club and goalkeeping department. Training takes place at GEMS World Academy in Al Barsha and players can request a free trial session online.


Elite Sports Academy

Where: Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai International Academy, Victory Heights Primary School, JESS Jumeirah and Arabian Ranches, and more locations here

At Elite Sports Academy, children aged two to 18 years old can learn the game and have fun while doing so. The coaching sessions are designed to provide a holistic approach to football education to ensure all players maximise their improvement. Elite Sports Academy partners with a large number of Dubai schools to provide extra-curricular football clubs. They also offer girls-only football sessions and compete in competitive leagues.


Images: Social