'It is our victory': Emiratis rejoice after Saudi Arabia's historic World Cup win

Residents across the country were jubilant, noting that Saudi's performance represented a triumph for the entire GCC region


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Fahad Moawaad and his three children, Mohammad, Ali, and Yusuf
Fahad Moawaad and his three children, Mohammad, Ali, and Yusuf

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 7:23 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Nov 2022, 11:47 AM

Emiratis across the UAE expressed immense elation after Saudi Arabia's shock win over Argentina on Tuesday.

In one of the greatest World Cup victories in history, Saudi Arabia beat title favourites Argentina by 2-1 at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on Tuesday. And fans across the UAE and the region burst out in celebration of the historic victory.

While many in the UAE celebrated the win with their families and friends. others took to the streets, with a few even hitting the desert to celebrate.

Jaber Al Jasimi
Jaber Al Jasimi

Emirati Jaber Al Jasimi said this was a win not only for Saudi Arabia, but the entire GCC. “Any country in the GCC [winning] is our success. This is one of the happiest moments [for us] this year, and we are incredibly happy and delighted to share this happiness with our brothers across the border,” he said.

Abdullah Al Hussam
Abdullah Al Hussam

Woke up to celebrations

Abdullah Al Hussam was fast asleep when he was woken up by the excited screams of joy from his friends. “I woke up straight from my sleep [to] the environment of celebration,” he said.

Al Hussam was at the Empty Quarter on the southern-most tip of the country, near the Saudi Arabian border, when history was being made in Qatar. “The land is very close to our heart. [It's not just that] Saudi won: Arabs won the match, against one of the strongest teams [in the world],” said Al Hussam. “We will have fireworks with barbecues tonight as a part of our celebration."

Saeed Adel Al Rustumani
Saeed Adel Al Rustumani

Salem Khadem Suroor Al Masam added that any country in the GCC feels like his own. “We are one family. We have families there in Saudi Arabia. It is [certainly] a big win for us, and we are an important part of the celebration,” said Al Masam.

“I am a bit old now to go out on the streets with my cars — but I have planned a celebration with family and friends at home."

Salem Khadem Suroor Al Masam
Salem Khadem Suroor Al Masam

Saeed Adel Al Rustumani expressed similar sentiments. “It’s [a] victory for Arabs…. We cannot express our happiness, it is just beyond. This calls for a massive celebration, and I am all geared up for a fun evening with my family."

"I wasn't expecting this result," Saudi Arabian Mohammed Al-Juhani told Khaleej Times from Tabouk. "My eyes hurt a bit; I was unable to blink after the second goal. But it's worth it."


Another Saudi national, Omar Ahmed from Madinah, said: “I am extremely happy that Saudi Arabia won this important match, because I didn’t expect this result. It was good to see the Saudi team playing without any pressure, and it was a result of teamwork.

"I’m quite confident that the Saudi team will do well in the coming matches too. This will boost the morale and confidence of the team. My favourite player in the Saudi team is Salim AlDawsari," he added.

Not anticipated

Sultan Al Hashmi, a marketing executive in the public sector, explained that they had been hoping for the best for the team, but the win was not anticipated. “Argentina is a very strong team, and winning against such a powerful team calls for a celebration. With this win, our name has just been elevated in the world of football.”

Entrepreneur Abdul Azeez Al Mheri was in Doha to witness the high-octane match between Saudi Arabia and Argentina. “We were waiting for the last second as Saudi had scored the second goal with Argentina at 1 [goal]. The moment I heard time [was] up, I was jumping [with] excitement,” said Al Mheri.

“Our celebrations across the GCC countries have already started, and congratulatory messages from my family residing in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi, and the UAE began as our win was declared,” he added.

Mohamed Kayed, an Egyptian who had just arrived in Saudi for work, said that he was pleasantly surprised with the result. “The Argentinian team is strong, but the Saudi team played very well. The second goal was the World Cup A-class standard! The entire match was a joy to watch.”

A family from Saudi Arabia living in Dubai was also overwhelmed by the win. Fahad Moawaad and his three children, Mohammad, Ali, and Yusuf were glued to their television.

Fahad’s wife Mawada Alwazir said that she took her kids out of school earlier today to watch the match. She was in the room when the Saudi team scored the first goal, running in as she heard the cheers of her three kids and husband in the living room.

“I stayed for the rest of the match and thought it was very good!” she said, adding that her family was very happy. Her son, Mohammad Moawaad, 13, described today as one of the best days of his life, and his country’s history.

“Only three days ago, I was joking with my friends, saying, ‘Imagine [if] we win this game – but to see it happen is amazing! I didn’t expect it, but I kept praying and hoping,” he said.

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