DUBAI // A leading sports club received a cash gift at the weekend and the players on its many teams will be the leading beneficiaries.
Al Shabab al Arabi Club received a Dh6 million grant from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.
The money will mainly go to the club's players across many different sports in recognition of their achievements for the 2010-2011 sporting season. Last month, Al Shabab football club beat Al Ain 3-2 in the final of the Etisalat Cup.
Its volleyball team won the President's Cup for the first time, and Al Shabab basketball team took out the GCC Clubs Basketball Championship.
Ibrahim Mohammed, the club's manager, said the grant was welcome and would be shared among all of the club's players.
"There are so many teams in different divisions and a lot of them were very successful this season," Mr Mohammed said.
"The money will be given to the players and we will use some of it for next year."
The sports club, which celebrated 50 years in 2008, is one of the oldest in the country.
Based at the 15,000-seat Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum stadium, the football club has won three UAE national titles.
It also won four UAE Emir Cups and in 1992 was the first Emirati club to win the Gulf Club Championship.
In 1995, Al Shabab was runner-up in the Asian Cup Winners' Cup, losing the final 2-1 in extra time to a Japanese club, Yokohama Flügels.
Matar al Tayer, the deputy chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, expressed his gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan for the grant.
Mr al Tayer said the grant would be a major boost to preparations for next season.