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Donald J. Trump is a constant presence on Dubai's highways and there is even one of him with a bevy of beauty queens, no less. But there is a subscript to Trump being featured this extensively — it is his ''name'' that is the USP (unique selling proposition) to a community of upscale villas being built by Damac Properties.
But is there more to the project than just Trump — chairman and president of The Trump Organisation — lending his name? Do buyers of the villas truly get the Trump imprimatur or the sheer flamboyance that is the calling card that comes with the name?
''They have to realise that because our name is on it, it matters to us very much — in fact, just as much (as projects developed directly by his company),'' said Trump. ''Anything with our name has to be of the highest quality, and we make sure it is.
''We are very much partners [with Damac]; we have mutual interests as well as respect for each other. It's a collaboration in many ways. They are fantastic people.''
Trump is expected in Dubai on May 20 for the formal launch of the Trump Estates, part of the Akoya by Damac development. The Trump International Golf Club was announced earlier as part of the same project.
In fact, Trump has just had another association with Dubai — he acquired the fabled Turnberry golf course and resort from the Dubai Government owned Leisurecorp. The deal, revealed late last week, is reportedly upwards of $60 million (Dh220.2 million). With Turnberry in the bag, Trump owns 17 golf courses, including 12 in the US.
So, is there going to be calibrated push into signature developments outside of the US? ''My core market is substantial and successful — so it is natural to branch out,'' said Trump. ''There are so many wonderful places around the world and it is exciting for us.''
Dubai will be ''our primary focus at this time, but there are many great places [elsewhere in the Middle East] to consider.''
In the US, where the company has over the years built up a selection of trophy locations, another one is on the way. ''We have a major project with the old post office building in Washington, DC, on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is a wonderful challenge,'' said Trump.
''It is a historic site and many were bidding for it — it will be incredible.''
Tee off for the Trump Estates in Dubai
• Sales have started for the 100 plus villas forming the Trump Estates, with prices at Dh6.62 million and more.
• Future residents can get quite close to the action unfolding on the green, with the properties surrounded by the second, third, fourth and eighth holes of the Trump International Golf Club.
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com