UAE Embassy Community Soccer Program
Since 2010, the UAE Embassy has supported a nationwide community soccer field program that partners with local organizations, such as professional sports teams, public school systems or nonprofit youth organizations, to provide quality playing fields in underserved communities around the US. There are ten fields in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, Dallas, Atlantic City, Ashbury Park, and Cleveland.
Working with local partners, these community fields have provided elementary school aged children around the US access to year-round playing space for soccer, quality coaching and programming, and additional benefits to the wider communities in which they are located.
Jump to City:
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Ambassador Al Otaiba, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Atlantic City officials, community leaders and local children gathered to celebrate the dedication of a new soccer field at the Texas Avenue Playground in Atlantic City. The gift is the result of an exciting partnership between the Atlantic City Long-Term Recovery Group and the UAE Embassy, who donated the funds to construct the field. The field is the latest in a series of significant Sandy Recovery efforts led by the UAE Embassy in the state of New Jersey.
In October 2014, Ambassador Al Otaiba joined Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the MLS soccer club FC Dallas to dedicate a brand new soccer field at the Jubilee Park and Community Center in Dallas. The UAE Embassy donated the funds for the field, which is used by hundreds of kids in the Jubilee Sports program, and FC Dallas and its players will provide support and ongoing coaching and clinic programs at the center going forward.
Washington, District of Columbia
One of the most heavily used playing fields in Washington, D.C. got a complete enhancement from the UAE Embassy and the Manchester City Football Club. Located at the Marie-Reed Elementary School – in the heart of the District’s Adams Morgan neighborhood – the state-of-the art, all-weather artificial turf field is the center activity for the school and nearby residents. Ambassador Al Otaiba joined together with DC Mayor Vincent Gray to dedicate the facility in November 2013. The DC Department of General Services also provided funded to refurbish the ampitheather area for the site. The Marie Reed School not only uses the field daily for soccer and other sports, but for community and school events like movie nights and other gatherings.
Haas Park of Chicago, Illinois
The UAE Embassy joined together with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Manchester City Football Club’s City Soccer in the Community program to dedicate a first-class soccer field at the Haas Park Community Center in Chicago’s Logan Square. The field is used by hundreds of kids and community members each day, and has sparked great interest in soccer throughout the neighborhood.
East Los Angeles, California
Working with Manchester City Football Club on their 2011 Summer Tour in the US, the UAE Embassy donated a soccer field to the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles. The field is used day and night by kids in the community, and local youth teams that have originated from the club play competitively in Southern California.