27 November 2016
By Yasmine Saleh

Dubai’s Damac Properties announced the launch of a new series of villas overlooking a golf course which is operated and named after American President-elect Donald Trump, just days after the company’s chairman said he expects a boost in the project’s sales as a result of Trump’s election victory.

The new Akoya Manarola project will include a collection of brightly coloured villa units at its Akoya Oxygen project, according to a press statement issued on Thursday. With prices starting from 2.3 million dirhams ($626,200), the units will face the Trump World Golf Course, which was designed by the golfer Tiger Woods and will be operated by The Trump Organization.

The move comes just days after Damac’s chairman Hussain Sajwani told CNN in an interview that Trump’s victory in the United States' presidential election earlier this month will help boost sales at the developer’s flagship Akoya project. He added it was a “wise” decision for the company to maintain its partnership with Trump during the election race, despite his comments that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.

“He had a strong brand…and no question in the last 12 months, his brand became stronger and more global. I think it will have a positive impact on sales,” Sajwani told CNN.

The Dubai-based private real estate firm reported earlier this month that its third quarter net profit was down 11.7 percent, but it saw sales grow by 1.7 billion dirhams during the period, a rise of 5 percent compared to the previous quarter. It is aiming to hit 7 billion dirhams worth of sales this year.

Trump the loyal communicator

John Defterios, the CNN journalist who conducted the interview with Sajwani last week gave more insight about the Trump- Sajwani relationship and how the two have managed to work together, despite their different personality styles.

The CNN journalist said Sajwani told him that Trump is loyal and was keen to remain involved in the Damac project. The Damac chairman also said the future president is “really good at communications” and a “master of detail”, having gone through the entire golf course and made suggestions to move some trees, Defterios said.

“He (Mr. Sajwani) admits, which I think it is very candid of him, he admits to the confrontations they had because they have very different personalities,” Defterios told Dubai Eye’s Drive Live radio programme.

“One (Trump) is very boisterous and aggressive in business. Mr. Sajwani, much more low key but usually gets what he wants by the end of the day,” he added.

Damac had last year briefly removed Trump’s name from its project after the business mogul made his remarks about banning Muslims from the U.S. The name was restored few days later.

Sajwani told CNN he expects the Trump World Golf Club to be completed by 2018, while another Trump-operated golf course, the Trump International Golf Club, is expected to open during the final quarter of 2017.

"We would love for Mr. Trump to come, but I understand being the president of the United States, it will be difficult for him," Sajwani told CNN.

Sales for the new villas will start on Tuesday at Damac Maison Mall Street hotel in Downtown Dubai.


© Zawya 2016