Crystal Palace Recruitment Manager returns to Dubai to pursue dream
Written by Simon Austin — April 6, 2021
CRYSTAL PALACE Recruitment Manager Omar Yabroudi, once described as the richest scout in world football, has returned home to Dubai to join the UAE Football Association.
The 31-year-old has said his dream is to lead the UAE to the World Cup finals and in his new role, as Assistant Secretary General for Technical Affairs for their Football Association, this will be one of his major objectives.
Yabroudi comes from a Dubai family that owns a billion pound construction business which is behind some of the emirate's most iconic buildings, including the Rolex Tower. However, his passion has always been football and he came to England in 2007 to study sports science and football at Liverpool John Moores University.
His first full-time role was as a scout and performance analyst at Crystal Palace, which is where he got to know Dougie Freedman, the then manager and now Sporting Director at Selhurst Park.
In a 2018 interview with Arab News, Yabroudi explained: “Our relationship started in long road journeys around England and trying to find players for Crystal Palace. Dougie did all the driving and I was responsible for buying the coffees as I didn’t have my driving license.”
From 2012 to 2015, he was Head of Recruitment and first-team performance analyst at Barnet, working for managers Edgar Davids and Martin Allen. In a 2015 profile piece, the Daily Mail gave him the title 'richest scout in football.'
Yabroudi re-joined Freedman at Nottingham Forest in June 2015 and since October 2017 has worked with him at Crystal Palace as Recruitment Manager.
“When Dougie joined Crystal Palace, in late 2017, he wanted to build a recruitment team," Yabroudi later explained.
“I had to be interviewed by the board and fortunately it went well and I got the job. Working under Dougie is something I’m very grateful for. He allows me to express my knowledge and that is important to me."
Yabroudi has previously said: “My dream is to take my country, the UAE, to the World Cup. That’s why I am here - the best place to learn is England.”
Now he's pursuing that dream, and writing on LinkedIn he said: "I look forward to providing all my support, experience and knowledge to help UAE football elevate to what we believe it can become.
“I promise to work as hard as time will allow me to in order to achieve all necessary goals.”