The Middle East welcomed the first Trump International Golf course in Dubai on Saturday.
The rolling desert course and clubhouse are nestled in the $6 billion Damac Hills community.
It was inaugurated at a “celebration” on Saturday evening, attended by the US President’s sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.
“This weekend is the accumulation of four years of working hard with our operator and designer the Trump Organisation, to bring to the market the Trump International Golf Course in Dubai, Vice-President of Damac properties, Niall McLoughlin told Inc. Arabia.
He said he believed Damac’s association with the Trump brand was more likely to boost than hamper sales.
“When we first launched and announced the project four years ago in 2013 the Trump brand has since then got stronger, for obvious reasons,” said Niall McLoughlin. “We’re very pleased to be associated with the brand who we believe are the best Golf club operator in the world.”
A January 27 order by the US President to restrict entry of citizens from seven Middle East states, in unlikely to deter members from signing up for membership, McLoughlin said:
“Ask them,” he said. “Our clients in Dubai are 35% locals, 30% Indian and Pakistani, and the rest are expats from the UK and other countries.”
“We don’t get drawn into politics, we’re businessmen. We’re interested in building luxury properties and golf clubs—in making money.
He confirmed that golfers of any nationality can join the club, for a cool Dhs35,000 ($10,000) per year, with an additional joining fee of Dhs10,000.
“A golf course is a global sport with no particular demographic in mind. It’s designed just with golfers in mind, and a golfer can be from anywhere on the planet, so there’s no profiling in any way shape or form.
Damac and the Trump Organization are already working on a second, even bigger golf course, Akoya Oxygen, designed by Tiger Woods, that is slated to open next year.
Damac Hills with its 42 million square feet of Trump signage and greenland boasts 9,000 residential units, villas, apartments, of which 50% have already been sold, McLoughlin said.
He said there are no plans for any new projects together.
“These are the only two projects that we have. We cannot work any further with the Trump Organization while he’s President.
“His organization has said while he’s president they won’t do any overseas deals.”
After that, he said, he didn’t know. “There’s speculation.”
World renowned Golf club architect Gil Hans designed the course to simulate the sand dunes of the natural topography.
“What he wanted to do was bring the desert terrain of sand dunes into the Golf course, so he has been able to create undulating fairways like you are in the desert, McLoughlin said.
“To create that in the desert is a fantastic achievement by the designer.
Golfers will be able to play in the club from Sunday. Daily rates for non-members (Green fees) are Dh895 on weekdays and Dh995 on weekends.