There is a strong Irish community in the Gulf countries with Irish
societies and GAA clubs active in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman,
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Bahrain Irish Society was founded in 1975 and is celebrating
its 35th Anniversary this year. Over the last 35 years
the Society has taken an active approach in contributing to local
Bahraini charities, organising events promoting our culture &
working in partnership with the community of Bahrain. The Society
works very closely with the Arabian Celts Gaelic Football Club
promoting our national games and also with the Bahrain Irish
Business Network promoting Irish Business & partnerships here
on the island.
The Kuwait Irish Society is now entering its 20th year
of being established in Kuwait. The Society is a not-for-profit
organisation that is open to everybody with a connection or
interest in Ireland. The Society holds a number of events
throughout the year including the St Patrick’s Day ball and they
also host a number of events specifically for children.
The Irish Society in Oman holds social events throughout the year
including the annual St Patrick’s Day Ball.
The Muscat Magpies GAA and Australian Football Club has its origins
in the Clann na hOman Gaelic Football team which was founded in
March 2003. Training takes place at Muscat Rugby Club every Sunday
& Tuesday. Muscat began entering a team in the Aussie Rules 9’s
tournament in Dubai in 2007, and from 2008 the Australian game
began to grow in popularity and evolved into a new playing arm of
the club - The Muscat Magpies. One team, two games!
The Irish Business Network in Oman provides a platform for members
to network with each other. It allows for the regular exchange of
trends and ideas from different industry categories, for making
business connections and often times finding employment
opportunities. The Group consists of a broad spectrum of people
such as: Irish people working in Oman; Employees of Irish companies
based in the Oman; and Individuals who are interested in developing
business links with Ireland. Networking events are held every few
months at various locations.
The Irish Society in Qatar holds events
throughout the year including the annual St Patrick’s Day Ball and
a children’s Christmas Party.
The Riyadh Irish Society was formed towards the end of
2006. Our goal is to help promote Ireland and its
culture, while also providing some entertainment for the Irish
community living in
Riyadh. We support a number
of charities based here in Riyadh and at home in
Ireland. RIS currently has a membership of close to 300
made up of families and singles - and demand is growing as more
people come back to KSA.
United Arab Emirates
The Abu Dhabi Irish Society was founded in 1975. It has expanded
since then and now has over 300 members. Its main aim is the
promotion of Irish social and sporting activities and the fostering
of good relations with other communities in Abu Dhabi. The society
is proud that the membership includes not only Irish, but also
people of different nationalities and this has greatly contributed
to the success of the society down the years. The society organises
a number of events throughout the year including the St Patrick’s
Day Ball, Golf Outings, Kids events, family events and much more.
Abu Dhabi Na Fianna is one of the biggest and longest established
sports clubs in the Gulf region and has been in existence since
1994. The historic first ever match played by Na Fianna was a
hurling game against a combined Al Ain\Northern Emirates team in Al
Ain in April 1995. The club expanded and Na Fianna played their
first ever competitive matches in both hurling and football when
the UAE championship started in Dubai in 1996. Since then the
club has expanded every year: a ladies team was established in 1999
and a junior team followed in 2004.
The Al Ain Irish Society and GAA club operate as one organization
and have grown from strength to strength since first established in
November 2009. The Society and Club strive to provide a focus
for social contact for people with an Irish background or an
interest in Irish culture. The Society and Club organize events in
Al Ain throughout the year.
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The Dubai Irish Society has been active since 1974 and continues to
actively serve the Irish community in Dubai. The aim of the DIS is
to provide a social platform for the Irish living and working in
Dubai. An array of events is organised throughout the year which
offers its members the opportunity to celebrate their culture,
heritage, traditions, and above all have fun while keeping that
bond to home. The St. Patrick's Day Ball and The Rose Ball are
certainly recognised as social calendar events of the year in
addition to a range of smaller socials such as quiz nights, Ceili's
and the children's unique 'Santa in the Desert' experience.
The Dubai Celts first took to the field at the Bahrain Tournament
in the 1995/96 Season. The Celts have grown significantly since and
now have teams at all ages. Over one quarter of all members
originate from beyond the shores of Ireland.
The Irish Business Network (IBN) in Dubai first convened on 10
February 2010. Since then the IBN has gone from strength to
strength and has a regular schedule of events, both networking and
sector specific. The Irish Business Network (IBN) is recognised by
the Dubai Chamber of Commerce as an official Business Council.