Damac Properties chairman Hussain Sajwani is expecting US President-elect Donald Trump’s “strong brand” value to have a positive impact on the developer’s property sales.
It was widely reported in the media that Damac had removed Trump’s name from the entrance of $6 billion (AED22 billion) Akoya development after the US President-elect called for a ban on all Muslims entering the UAE during a fractious presidential election campaign.
Sajwani, however, said the name had been removed due to maintenance work and was brought back in less than 48 hours.
He insists that Trump’s election triumph, and upcoming Presidency, will have a positive impact on sales for Damac.
“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,” he told CNNMoney.
“He’s in no way discriminative. He doesn’t discriminate against sex, religion or anything else,” he added.
“We saw the pressure. We we’re in the middle of the pressure. We had a number of meetings with board and management and we took a decision that we are going to stick to our legal agreements.
“It was a wise decision. All our business partners respect us for that. We stick to our commitments, regardless of the political, geographical or any other issues,” he added.
Damac is planning to open the Trump International Golf Club at Akoya in the first quarter 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,” he added.
Work is going on another golf course – The Trump World Golf Club Dubai, designed by Tiger Woods – which is set to be completed in 2018.
Earlier this month, Sajwani described the property market conditions in Diubai as “challenging” after the company’s net profit declined by 11.7 percent to $245.6 million (AED902 million) for the third quarter 2016 from $278 million (AED1.02) billion a year earlier.
Revenue fell to $477 million (AED1.75 billion) from $550 million (AED2.02 billion) a year earlier.