That came in 1980, when Rangers were welcomed to the Gulf State by former England Manager Don Revie, who six years earlier had sold out for Arab gold, quitting his national team to take up a similar post in Dubai.
There were many ex-pats in the crowd to watch the Light Blues secure a narrow 2-1 win over Al Nasr with goals by Derek Johnstone and Gordon Smith. There was even a rare first-team appearance for Gordon Boyd, who self-destructed a career of great talent and promise.
Team: McCloy; Jardine (Watson), Miller; Smith, Jackson, Stevens; Cooper (McKay), Russell (A. McDonald), Johnstone, Redford, McLean (Boyd)
No doubt Rangers and any travelling fans will be glad that they head for home when leaving Dubai after the game with Energie Cottbus - in 1980 the Ibrox men travelled on to Kuwait and were duly deprived of all duty free alcohol upon arrival. They should have arranged the games the other way round.
A sober Rangers defeated Al Arabi 3-1 in the second game of the tour.
Rangers' next visit to Dubai will be recalled by many - the Dubai Champions' Cup Challenge match with English Champions Everton attracting an 8,000 attendance at the same venue where the Ibrox men will play tomorrow.
Rangers took an early initiative with Robert Fleck hitting a post, but an Everton team containing both Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven soon gained the initiave - a Graham Sharp shot was blocked on the line by Derek Ferguson and Adrian Heath's header shaved the crossbar.
Kevin Sheedy it was who opened the scoring in 24 minutes when he netted at the end of a Sharp - Steven - Heath move.
Rangers had no fewer than SIX goals disallowed for offside by the local linesman and had a stonewall penalty refused for handball against Dave Watson.
Everton appeared to have secured victory in 65 minutes when Watson shot home a Steven cross. Rangers would not surrender ghowever - Fleck converting a Durrant pass in 80 minutes then McCoist equalising with a superb strike in 88 following a one-two with Fleckie.
A penalty shoot-out followed, won 8-7 by Rangers with Ian Snodin being denied by a fine Chris Woods save.
Woods; Nisbet, Phillips; Roberts, Wilkins ( Munro), Gough; Francis (Souness), Fleck, McCoist, Durrant, D. Ferguson
Everton: Southall; Stevens, Pointon; Ratcliffe, Watson, Reid; Steven, Heath, Sharp, Snodin, Sheedy