Donald Trump, the New York real-estate mogul, is back in Dubai with plans for a golf course and 104 mansions three years after a plan to build a hotel tower bearing his name was scrapped in the desert sheikdom.
Trump was involved in conceiving the 18-hole course, designed by Gil Hanse, while his daughter Ivanka oversaw the design of the houses, the star of TV’s “The Apprentice” said today at a press conference in Dubai. Damac Real Estate Development Ltd., a Dubai developer listed in London, is building the project as part of the city’s Akoya development, Chairman Hussein Sajwani said at the same event.
Nakheel PJSC in 2011 canceled plans for a Trump project designed to include 368 hotel rooms and 388 apartments. The split tower was halted after Dubai’s real estate crash starting in 2008 forced the developer to write off about $21 billion.
“We were fortunate that the project in Dubai didn’t start and nobody got hurt,” Trump said. He said developers are much more conservative this time around and safeguards installed since the crash help the market.
“I always wanted to get back and we never forgot Dubai,” Trump said at the project site. “Dubai has become very conservative. This is a much different and smarter time.”
Trump is making an investment in the project and not just lending his name for a fee, he said without being more specific. The project is set for completion in 2017 and several holes have already been landscaped.
Damac collected 3 billion dirhams ($816 million) from advance sales of properties in the first quarter, Chairman Sajwani said. The company has more than $1.3 billion in cash and all its development land is paid for, he said.