The trio have struggled this season in the Pro League and none of them have a chance of winning the title - a feat which would require a complete implosion by leaders Al Ain - and even the Asian Champions League qualification slots are at least seven points away.
Winning the Etisalat Cup could save each team's season, and maybe even keep their manager in a job.
Flash back to Al Ahli in 2011/12.
There were big expectations heaped on Quique Sanchez Flores's team, with Grafite and Luis Jiminez arriving to lead a title charge, but the Dubai club finished fifth, nearer in points to the relegation zone than top spot.
But they won the Etisalat Cup.
A trophy kept fans happy and banished any thoughts of Sanchez Flores losing his job - and we all know that getting fired is not too hard in the Pro League.
This season they are third in the league.
Wahda, Wasl, Shabab all could do with the boost of lifting that trophy.
Each side has the basis of a title-winning squad. Wahda provide key players to the national side, Wasl have one of the best foreigners in Mariano Donda and one of the UAE's most promising young players in Rashid Essa.
And Shabab merge decent UAE players, such as Walid Abbas, with the flair of the likes of Ciel.
A trophy would salvage a disappointing season and may spark a 2013/14 title challenge.
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