Murray, silence is probably your most effective weapon.

Ewen Murray first set foot in the UAE in 1982, to what was then the much smaller Dubai International Airport. As a professional golfer at the time he traveled to play in a series of Golf Pro-Am promoting the game through his sponsor, British Caledonia, one of only three airlines flying to Dubai at the time. You can imagine then, 40 years ago, how different the Dubai landscape might have looked.

“My first time here was in 1982, there was one building and it’s still there now, the World Trade Center, but of course it was flooded by all the other buildings,” Murray said.

I remember them saying at the time that there would be big changes in the next 20 years and there would be a marina built where they were going to build a golf course and there was none of that clearly, just a hard rock café. I walked away thinking this wouldn’t happen. And you are looking at him now! I wouldn’t say it’s a mini Manhattan, I would say it’s a mega Manhattan, massive changes.

Our first real glimpse of what was the golf scene at the time was a visit to the sand-based Dubai Country Club. Here he had to play with one foot with one foot of astro turf to hit the ball. This was followed by a second sand golf course in central Abu Dhabi, and even a trip to Das Island….

We played at a place called Das Island I think it’s about 100km off the coast here. Here we played around with gas tanks, fuel tanks, and runways, it was amazing. It was a great adventure but it was another world away and it is, it was almost a lifetime.”

Upon his return to the UK, Murray continued his successful career in the game while playing around the world on the European Tour. Unfortunately, he later lost his playing privileges in 1989 and had to make the difficult decision to close down his club.

It was the following year in 1990 when Ewen received a phone call from the then Executive Director of Emirates Golf Club, Andrew Miller who was looking for a replacement golf commentator for the 1990 Emirates Airline Desert Classic. He accepted an offer of an airline ticket and £500 for the week. , Ewen was on the next trip to Dubai to try his hand at hanging golf for the first time.

I come on, channel 33 are the people who’ve been covering live golf, they’ve never covered golf before. Richard Corman who was a radio presenter in Dubai became the presenter. I became the commentator, Channel 33 was golfing for the first time, so that wasn’t a recipe for huge success! They used to do camel racing, they used to do the Dakar Rally, and an hour later the manager, Hamid Mubarak, asked if we were okay? And I said, “We kind of need to see the ball.” He had his cameraman across from the onlookers, out of respect, but of course they needed to be on the other side.

Come Saturday afternoon, the ball never left the center of the screen, it was as if they had done it their whole lives. Hamid Mubarak became a great friend, a really close friend. We finished the tournament and I was on my own hanging on, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I got home Sky was just starting out and they bought the highlights of the Desert Classic with commentary on it, and they asked if I wanted to go to Spain to do their commentary for the Spanish event, which I did.

From that trip to Dubai Ewen never looked back. 30 years in the Sky Sports hot seat has earned the Scot respect around the world for his one-of-a-kind story.

I would say the most important thing about golf suspension is that the awareness of silence is probably your most effective weapon. It is easy to know when to speak but not so easy to know when not to.

I was very fortunate because Sky Sports started in 1992 at the beginning of the Dubai Desert Classic era, just before Abu Dhabi’s participation. They have been a company that has come and will be here for a while so they have been patient and have built themselves up well. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. When you look back on your life, you may have done some good things, and certainly done some bad things, but being in the right place at the right time is either fate or luck, or maybe a little of both.

The conclusion of the DP World Championship this year showed once again that this event is still the number one tournament that players want to win, in the first destination.

You look around and the earth path is not built in these days. It may have been blue printed somewhere but it wasn’t built in. But you look at it now and you look at the show they put on here, the way it’s set up, the way everything is taken care of, and they think through everything carefully, so it’s a spectacle that goes around the world that they’re very proud of.

It’s the DP World Tour and based here in Dubai, the DP World Tour is home to the world’s best golfers, the number one golfer at the helm. That’s how much it grows and it’s quite a sight. People look at Dubai now, and if you take a wide shot of the marina, everyone knows that it is Dubai, which can be recognized all over the world, and year after year it gets bigger and better.

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