But the 23-year-old admitted he hadn't been switched on mentally at times in carding a two-over-par 74 in the opening round of the $3.5 million event at Emirates Golf Club.
MacIntyre, who withdrew from last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship due to his hand problem, opened with five straight pars in the company of former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and Paul Waring.
The left-hander then dropped four shots in five holes around the turn, but had fought back with three birdies before finishing with a bogey-6.
"I played absolutely terrible to be four-over-par," said MacIntyre, who finished 13th in last season's Race to Dubai and is one of the players on Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup radar this year.
"I did get unlucky with my bogeys at the par 5s (the 10th and the 18th). The faces on the bunkers are quite steep yet my ball plugged in a face on one at the tenth.
"It was almost 90 degrees. Graeme [McDowell] was in beside me and I had to get him to rake the bunker as I was just trying to get it out of the plug and knew it was going to stay in the bunker.
"It was a frustrating day, but I hung in. It's a tough course and you just can't attack pins, which I love to do.
"It's a plotter's course, I feel. You've got to be smart and when you have not played for eight weeks like me, you are not smart.
"It takes time to even think about what you are doing out there and I got a few numbers wrong with my yardages today. I'd be 10 yards out.
"Everything about me was slow and off and I'm just glad to get today over with."
Asked about his hand, he added: "Everything is fine. We've already had a chat that if I feel anything, I'm out.
"The big test was in the bunker at the tenth where the face was like concrete but I'm all right after that."