The Lights of Rome

Director: Ali Khaled
Highlights Highlights Highlights
The film recounts the true underdog story of how the UAE National Football Team pulled off a miracle by qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Making it to the world cup was a dream in 1990, and only one team made it a reality.
It tells the story of the UAE golden generation of footballers, a team without a single professional but with the passion and determination to put their country on the map.
Filming of The Lights of Rome was kick started through a campaign back in 2014 where a group of Emirati football lovers shared their memories of the legendary finals to the qualification for the 1990 World Cup.
The Lights of Rome is the first Emirati documentary about the World Cup featuring a number of the 1989's UAE National Team including; Adnan Al Tayani, Mossain Mossaba, and Abdul Rahman Mohammed to name a few.
The Lights of Rome  Poster
2016 / UAE70 min/ Sports
Original Title
Anwar Roma
In Singapore, 1989, the UAE national football team managed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup in Italy for the first time in the country’s history. The film features rare footage from the team’s journey and interviews with its members, as well as the officials and critics who witnessed this great achievement, and amazing popular songs and music from the time, which will serve to bring those who lived during the event back to the time of The Lights of Rome.
Adnan Al Tayani
Mossain Mossaba
Abdul Rahman Mohammed
DOP: Peter Davis
Arturo Smith
Editor: Andy Lloyd
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Production Company(ies)
Image Nation Abu Dhabi
Anna Melin
Danielle Perissi
Hana Makki
Stevan Riley
film festivals
DOC NYC Festival, USA
“If you are a football fan, if you love the UAE, or if you enjoy films that champions the human spirit, this film is for you.” Ellen Fortini - The National

“The story of how an unfancied Emirati team upset the odds to qualify for Italia ’90 is now being retold thanks to Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s documentary Anwar Roma.” Esquire Middle East

“The Lights of Rome is ready to put the 1990 UAE football team in the same sporting hall of fame.”
Time Out Abu Dhabi