Arab Contractors Stadium

Traveling back from Heliopolis to Nasr City, one miniscule pixel on the map of Cairo in Google Earth, one giant leap for driving mankind, the Osman Ahmed Osman Stadium beckons. This huge ground is named after the holding company of the construction firm Arab Contractors, formerly guised as Moqawiloon, who play their home games here, together with tenants ENNPI, a gas and petrol consortium, both from the Egyptian Momtaz.

The stadium is located in the south-east of the capital and constructed on top of a hill, locally known as the Green Mountain (El Gabal El Akhdar). It can be spotted from almost anywhere in Cairo with huge floodlights scraping the moon. Speaking of El Gabal El Akhdar, capturing the Osman Ahmed Osman Stadium on celluloid is yet another huge mountain to climb.

Eventually, the stadium manager is brought into the limelight and being reminded of the decade’s ultimate shock Egyptian Cup exit in the second round by Moqawiloon at the hands of a certain third division that put on an heroic display to win 1-2 on a memorable Cairo night on 5 December 2004. The names El Gouna FC and Haytham Hussein Hassan Mohamed, formerly with Arab Contractors suddenly reveal the whitest set of teeth and Osman Ahmed Osman’s gates open like the Red Sea once parted for Moses.

The oval shaped grounds’ unique asset is the yellow ochre and green second tier, divided into sections on top of the lower green and yellow ochre bottom tier, leaving for large open gaps to cause treacherous windy conditions at such heights. The gigantic open and barely covered main stand seems to have alienated itself from its surroundings.

Its alleged capacity ranges from 35,000 to 60,000, with 45,000 probably a more accurate figure. The stadium accommodates four star hotel facilities for the home and away team on top of the main stand, providing for a breathtaking view of the interior of the ground and Cairo’s impressive skyline.

Regardless of its spaciousness and its quaint main stand curiously disjointed from the rest of the ground the Ahmed Osman Ahmed stadium is clearly one of the better venues in Egypt.