Ahead of the start of the 2018-19 season, Laurent Banide took over Umm Salal, who finished fifth under Moroccan Talal El Karkouri, in the last edition of QNB Stars League. The Orange Fortress ended the contract with El Karkouri, who had replaced Egyptian Mahmoud Jaber, by mutual consent. Frenchman Banide is one of the most experienced coaches presently in Qatar. He is no stranger to Umm Salal, having coached them in 2008 as well. He has also trained Al Kharaitiyat and Al Khor, so he knows a lot about Qatar football. He also has vast experience in the Gulf region.