Today the British Embassy in Dubai is a fortress. Drop Bars, Concrete Barricades, Surveillance Systems and heavily Armed Guards control who does and doesn't enter.
In 1987 it was different. A solitary Guard equipped with an old Enfield 303 rifle provided the protection. Visitors might be asked to produce their documents but generally a nod and a smile got you through the gate. The Embassy grounds were spacious with gardens and trees but no concrete barricades, tank traps or secure buildings. There was also a lot of sand!
In the 1970s, Dubai had just one Golf Course at the Dubai Country Club with Sharjah Wanderers Golf Club in nearby Sharjah. Joining these Clubs meant paying fees and subscriptions and put golf out of reach for Junior Embassy Staff. So they built their own Golf Course in the grounds of the Embassy.
This was a sand course with oiled sand "greens". A small piece of portable "Astro Turf" each Player carried provided the "fairway". Three Clubs were all that was necessary to get around the course. Tiger Woods could probably manage with one! R and A Rules of Golf applied with some local Rules (see the back of the Card) that recognised the sanctity of the Consul's garden and the occasional presence of a local snake.
Main hazard was the armed Guard resting in the shade of the tree. The tree was central to all the holes so the Guard had to move to give the Players a clear view of the greens. He and his 303 Rifle were reluctant to move out of the shade. He became increasingly reluctant to do so by the time the last holes were played, particularly during the summer.
The golf course could best be decribed as "compact". It did not take long to play nine holes unless either the guard or the snake were proving troublesome but refreshments were always near to hand.