The Trump Organization’s website has long listed the Trump World Golf Club in the expat hub of Dubai as “coming soon.”

But four years after it was supposed to open for business, the 18-hole course designed by Tiger Woods faces yet another delay in the city already dealing with a glut of development, this time until at least 2022, according to a senior employee involved in the operation.

When it opens, the project will test whether Trump’s corporate brand holds the same allure in a region where the former U.S. president has enjoyed broad support. And it comes as the company is figuring out its path forward with Trump out of office.

Grafted onto the desert and ringed by a luxury housing development, the golf course doesn’t yet display any of the typical, gold-emblazoned Trump signage. Instead, the name that’s ubiquitous is Damac Properties Dubai Co., the local developer and Trump partner that’s building the surrounding community, Akoya Oxygen.

While some homes in the development are occupied, vacant lots and empty homes can be seen sprinkled through neighborhoods with names like Mimosa, Amazonia and Zinnia. On a recent Friday afternoon, there were more security guards than residents visible among rows of nearly identical white and yellow single-family homes — known locally as villas. Sidewalks and playgrounds were empty, despite the perfect, 74-degree weather.

The golf course is mostly done, according to Bryon Bell, president of Tiger Woods’s TGR Design. But construction of the clubhouse is on pause for now, according to the person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The cause of the delay is unclear, even among top-level people working on the project, though some have been told it’s Covid-related, the person said.

The developer’s chairman, Hussain Sajwani, is sometimes referred to as the “Donald of Dubai” and is close with the Trump family.

Unlike some in corporate America, Trump’s partners in Dubai didn’t shun him after the deadly Jan. 6 events at the U.S. Capitol. Shortly after the chaos, Sajwani said he was looking forward to doing even more deals now that Trump is no longer president. “I would welcome the opportunity of expanding our relationship with the brand and looking for more ways where we can collaborate,” Sajwani told CNN.

The riot earlier this year severed Trump’s longstanding ties with banks and real estate brokers, and booted him off social media. But one area that still seems potentially fruitful for him is with international licensing and management deals — similar to the one he has with Damac — in countries where he’s made the most political friendships.

Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for Damac.

First « 1 2 » Next