Chris Weeks/AP
Sulaiman Al-Fahim

Manchester city abu dhabi, abu dhabi dubai, abu dhabi sheik
Chris Weeks/AP
Sulaiman Al-Fahim


September 04, 2008 10:37 AM
by Denis Cummings
An Abu Dhabi investment group recently purchased English Premiership club Manchester City in an effort to compete with neighboring emirate Dubai, where Sheik Mohammed is renewing a bid for Liverpool.


Abu Dhabi billionaire Sulaiman Al-Fahim, CEO of developer Hydra Properties, bought Manchester City Football Club from former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was forced to sell the team after Thailand froze his assets. The cost, £200 million ($360 million), is insignificant for al-Fahim, who is funded by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Little was known about the deal before it was completed on September 1, which was also soccer’s player transfer deadline. The new ownership immediately made several lavish bids for players and was able to sign Brazilian star Robinho from Real Madrid for a British record £32.5 million.

Abu Dhabi is the capital city and largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates, but it has been overshadowed by neighboring Dubai. Dubai has become world famous for extravagant projects including the world’s tallest building, a string of manmade islands shaped like countries, and Dubailand, a massive resort and theme park that includes Dubai Sports City, a complex featuring several modern sports stadiums.


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