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March 8, 1988: Emirates Golf Club opens in Dubai

Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq strikes a 240-yard drive to officially open Dubai’s new facility

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The opening ceremony of Emirates Golf Club in Dubai attended by Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq, Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Millions around the world watched Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq strike an impressive 240-yard drive down the lush green to officially open Dubai’s new facility, the 18-hole full-grass Emirates Golf Club. The president, a keen golfer with a handicap of 18, displayed razor sharp nerves as excitement mounted. “Watch out, I am dangerous,” he joked as photographers crammed round him during the opening shot. Thousands at the lavish opening sat spell-bound as parachutists descended from a helicopter in a blaze of colour. to land next to the VIP stand. One of the parachutists presented Zia, dressed in a safari suit, with the golf club which the Pakistan President used to slice a ball mounted on the gold Tee to declare open the Club. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, had earlier welcomed Zia to the Golf Course with Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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1917 Riots and strikes break out in St Petersburg, marking the start of the Russian Revolution.

1918 American singer Billy Murray records the popular song K-K-K-Katy (also known as the Stammering Song).

1920 Denmark and Cuba join the League of Nations.

1921 Spanish prime minister Eduardo Dato is assassinated in Madrid by an anarchist.

1950 Marshal Voroshilov announces the existence of the Soviet atomic bomb.

1954 US and Japan sign mutual defence agreement.

1957 Egypt reopens the Suez Canal following Suez Crisis.

1965 First US combat troops lands in South Vietnam.

1970 Cyprus President Archbishop Makarios III escapes assassination as terrorists shoot down his helicopter.

1973 In a referendum, the people of Northern Ireland vote to remain within the United Kingdom.

1974 Charles de Gaulle Airport is opened in Paris, France.

1985 A car bomb explodes outside a mosque in a densely populated area in Beirut, killing 56.

1990 West German parliament adopts resolution calling on united Germany to honour Poland’s western border.

1991 Britain’s largest independent airline, Air Europe goes bankrupt, halts all flights.

1992 Police divers pull 127 bodies from the sea after a ferry carrying visitors to a Buddhist shrine collides with an oil tanker in the Gulf of Thailand.

1994 An Indian jetliner crashes into a parked Russian plane in New Delhi, killing at least seven.

1996 China fires three ballistic missiles into waters off Taiwan’s main ports.

2002 The Mont Blanc tunnel linking France and Italy is re-opens three years after a horrific fire killed 39 people.

2004 Rawya Bint Saud Al Bu Saidi becomes first woman minister to join the Oman cabinet.

2005 Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov is killed by Russian troops.

2007 International Atomic Energy Agency governors approve cuts in technical aid to Iran.

2008 Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica dissolves Serbia’s government and calls for fresh elections.

2010 A 6.0 magnitude earthquake strike eastern Turkey, killing 51 people.

2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappears with 239 people on board.

2017 Gunmen dressed as doctors storm Afghanistan’s largest military hospital and kill 38 people.