x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Donald bids to trump Tiger Woods with new PGA 'super' golf course in Dubai

US tycoon Donald Trump says that his new super luxury Dubailand championship golf course will raise the game for the sport in the region.

A rendering of the Golf Condos at the Akoya by Damac project planned at Dubailand. Courtesy Damac
A rendering of the Golf Condos at the Akoya by Damac project planned at Dubailand. Courtesy Damac

US tycoon Donald Trump says that his new super luxury Dubailand championship golf course will raise the game of the sport in the region.

Speaking exclusively to The National, Mr Trump, 66, the president of the Trump Organisation and the star of the US hit series The Apprentice, said he had returned to fronting property development in Dubai after a previous attempt to brand a skyscraper hotel on the Palm Jumeirah stalled, because he found Dubai "sensational".

Earlier this week, Mr Trump announced that he would be fronting Damac's 7,205 yard par-71 Trump International Golf Course located off Umm Suqeim Road next to Dubai Properties Group's Mudon project.

The announcement came more than two years after plans to develop a 300-room hotel with Nakheel were scrapped.

"Developments don't always go as planned and the world economy has experienced volatility," Mr Trump said. "Golf is a significant part of my life as well as a business for me, and I am excited about the new championship course in Dubai.

"We are looking forward to presenting a beautiful and challenging course for those who love golf. No one will be disappointed. It will be the highest level of luxury," he added.

Under an agreement with Damac, Mr Trump will supply branding to the course, provide technical services and manage and operate the course for a 25-year lease.

He will not own a stake in the project.

The new course will be located close to the stalled par-72 Tiger Woods-designed golf course that was planned by the Dubai Holding subsidiary Tatweer and Tiger Woods Design for Dubailand and was originally scheduled to open in September 2009.

Trump's course is part of a 28 million square feet project set to be developed by Damac that will also include hundreds of villas, townhouses and apartments as well as a 30,000 sq ft state-of-the-art clubhouse including a luxurious spa and a high-tech training centre where body sensors analyse golfers. swings.

Ziad El Chaar, the managing director of Damac Properties, said that the Dh150m budget for building the golf course alone would be five times higher than that of developing a standard golf course which usually costs about Dh30 million.

He said that membership fees to the exclusive course were likely to be about the same price of those at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach in Florida, which are currently advertised at US$18,000 a year plus an initiation fee of $450,000.

"Membership of this golf course is going to be more expensive than any other golf course in Dubai. We know this for sure," Mr El Chaar said.

Akoya by Damac, named after one of the most exclusive pearls, will cover 28 million sq ft on Dubailand.

A first phase of 200 villas, semi-detached houses and apartments is due to be launched shortly and is expected to be followed by nine more phases.

Damac said the project would have an estimated development value of Dh9 billion and that it intended to finance half of the scheme through off-plan property sales.

It added that it would also possibly seek bank loans to finance the project due to its size.

 

lbarnard@thenational.ae