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Trump still has ‘big pull’ for $2m branded villas in Oman

Donald Trump draws crowds on the campaign trail in Conway, South Carolina; meanwhile his brand is a bonus in the Gulf Reuters/Sam Wolfe
Donald Trump draws crowds on the campaign trail in Conway, South Carolina; meanwhile his brand is a bonus in the Gulf
  • Launch of 20 Trump-branded villas
  • 100 expressions of interest
  • Trump’s Gulf ties under scrutiny

Donald Trump may be facing criminal investigations in the US, but the 45th president’s brand continues to wield substantial influence in the Gulf.

Last week there were more than 100 expressions of interest in a launch of 20 Trump-branded villas in Oman, within 24 hours, according to the project’s developer.

“Trump as a brand still has very big pull,” Ziad El Chaar, CEO of Dar Global, the London-listed international arm of Saudi Arabia’s property developer Dar Al Arkan, told AGBI.

“The reaction was very good from the market.” 

Omanis and expat residents from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as Russian, UK, Canadian, and some US buyers are showing interest in the Muscat villas, he said.

Dar Global partnered with The Trump Organization in 2022 to use the former president’s name for its $4 billion master development in Muscat.

The Aida project, a joint venture with Oman Tourism Development Company, will include Trump-branded villas, a resort and a golf course.

Each villa, branded and designed by The Trump Organization and offering direct views of the golf course and sea, is priced at approximately $2 million.

Each villa, branded and designed by The Trump Organization, is priced at about $2mDar Global
One of the villas in the Aida project. Each Trump villa, branded and designed by The Trump Organization, is priced at about $2m

As Trump plots a return to the White House in November’s presidential election, he has sought Supreme Court intervention to claim immunity from prosecution for his actions after his loss to Joe Biden in 2020.

Trump, the first US president to be criminally prosecuted, is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to go up against Biden again this year.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

El Chaar steered clear of political commentary, but pointed to the Trump brand’s “massive success” in the UAE. 

The businessman-turned-politician’s company has licensed his name to global real estate ventures for more than a decade. He partnered with Dubai’s Damac Properties and Trump’s branded properties doubled in value between 2020 and 2022.

Damac’s Ali Sajwani told AGBI last year that demand for the properties lies in their “quality”.

Architecture, Building, Outdoors
The Aida project, a joint venture with Oman Tourism Development Company, will include Trump-branded villas, a resort, and a golf courseDar Global
Aida, a joint venture with Oman Tourism Development Company, will include villas, a resort and a golf course

“There’s always an insistence on quality,” said El Chaar, who met with Trump and his family in the US last month.

He said the luxury brand also appealed to buyers looking to join “the club” of Trump property owners around the globe, while the brand’s championship course designs lure top golfers and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

“It’s [seen as] a brand of being a contender, being strong, being a fighter,” El Chaar said.

“Any investor in one of those villas will eventually get a very good value, just like you’ve seen in Dubai.”

The Trump brand topped the global league table of branded residences back in 2000, according to a report by Savills. It fell to third in 2015 but was still ranked fourth in the world at the midway point in 2020.

Trump’s Middle East ties have come under close scrutiny even though he ceded control of his business to his sons when he became president.

Although Trump refrained from pursuing new international real estate deals while in office, ethics experts have questioned his links with Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, during his presidency.

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