Federer had won the Dubai championship four times, including last year, but fell to Murray, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4. Murray, ranked 11th in the world, powered past Federer with 10 aces and broke Federer's serve twice. Murray never faced a break point in the match.
It was the second consecutive match loss for Federer, who last played in the Australian Open semifinals, losing to Novak Djokovic. He hadn't lost a first-round match since 2004.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer, No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko and seventh-seeded Richard Gasquet all were straight-set winners Monday. Ferrer stopped Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-0 while Davydenko dumped Mohammed Ghareeb 6-4, 6-0. Gasquet won 6-4, 6-4 over Dmitry Tursunov.
Also Monday, Fabrice Santoto defeated Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-4; Fernando Verdasco beat Rainer Schuettler 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-1; Jan Hernych handled Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4; and Igor Andreev won 6-3, 6-4 over Jan Minar.
The 2008 Dubai titlist will collect $300,000.