Trump International Golf Club Dubai was officially opened yesterday with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, sons of US President Donald Trump, present at the function as guests of honour.
The Gil Hanse-designed lay-out, which forms the heart of the 42-million square foot DAMAC Hills master development, becomes the 12th golf course in Dubai. The championship-size 18-hole course measures 7,205 yards from the back tees and plays to par-71.
Hussain Sajwani, chairman of DAMAC Properties, said: “It is an honour to stand here today with Eric and Donald Trump Jr., as well as dignitaries and prominent members of the business community, to celebrate yet another outstanding milestone for our city Dubai.
“The Trump International Golf Club Dubai is an international golf course that just joined the league of the most premium golf courses in the world. It certainly transforms the golfing scene in Dubai and across the region, reaffirming the emirate’s position as a global destination for world-class developments.”
Trump International Dubai is the latest addition to the company’s impressive portfolio, which includes Turnberry and Aberdeen in Scotland, Doonbeg in Ireland and 12 other courses across the United States.
It is the Trump Organisation’s first foray into the Middle East market and at the gala launch, punctuated by a spectacular fireworks display, executive vice president Eric Trump outlined his expectation that Dubai’s newest course will be the jewel in the region’s golfing crown.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this momentous occasion in Dubai and to witness the opening of this latest offering in our portfolio of Trump golf courses – the first in the Middle East,” he said at the inauguration, attended by the region’s golfing glitterati.
“We are very proud of our collaboration with DAMAC Properties and look forward to bringing a new level of challenge and luxury to Dubai at this truly spectacular property.
“Everyone’s put in so much blood, sweat and tears into making this happen and we’ve achieved something that is tremendous. We’ve truly built one of the great golf courses anywhere in the world and truly, probably the best golf course anywhere in the Middle East and beyond.
“You walk through the clubhouse, you see the marble, you see the quality, you see the attention to detail. You look at the grass, you see the condition of the grass, of the greens and the tees and the bunkers – it is truly second to none anywhere. This course is going to be a proud symbol of Dubai and of this country for many years to come.”
Trump paid tribute to those behind the scenes and insisted that Trump International Dubai is merely the company’s first step, with the Tiger Woods-designed Trump World Golf Club set to be the next venture in the city.
“Our team have done an incredible job, a quick thanks to Gil Hanse too, who did a phenomenal job. We are so proud to be here tonight. On behalf of the entire family, on behalf of the entire Trump organisation, on behalf of the entire team at Trump International Dubai it’s a tremendous honour to stand before you. Thanks for your love, your friendship. We’re going to have a lot of fun years together and this is just the beginning.”
Donald Trump Jr echoed his brother’s sentiments, adding: “It’s been a privilege to do this, to be a part of this project and to work on it. What you have in front of you is a truly world class facility. Not just for Dubai but anywhere.
“It is a unique, incredibly well-designed golf course that will give many of years of enjoyment to its members, visitors, guests passing through the country and I think it’s a great example of what can be built here and what will continue to be built for years to come.”
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, visited the Akoya by Damac, Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, three years ago when he hit the first ever drive at the club.
Trump hit his drive straight down the fairway much to the amazement of the crowd in attendance.
It was also when Trump was asked about who he would like to see as the winner of the first international professional tour event at the Akoya, and he replied with Tiger Woods.
That was back in 2014 when Trump was better known as the man fronting the US Apprentice.
A lot has changed since then with Trump now the US President and, on Wednesday, the course opened bookings for February tee-times and its Golf Academy ahead of this weekend's grand opening.
Dubai Sports City and The Butch Harmon School of Golf have signed an exclusive partnership with GEMS Sports Academy Dubai which will see high school students benefiting from training and coaching at the Dubai Sports City facility.
As well as training, The Butch Harmon School of Golf will also prepare young golfers for the next steps of their professional and academic careers by providing them with support through a new scholarship programme.
The partnership will see highly-trained staff at the golf school steer each young player towards a potential scholarship in America by developing their skills and linking them to the right college through a network of universities whilst attending GEMS Sports Academy.
Speaking after the announcement Justin Parsons, director of instruction at The Butch Harmon School of Golf said: “Since opening in 2009, we have been passionate about delivering developmental golf programs for young players. With the link to GEMS Sports Academy, we can now work with some of the most talented players in the region and help them to attain scholarships to the US.”
The Butch Harmon School of Golf has already produced some incredible talent such as local raising golf star Rayhan Thomas, who currently trains at The Els Club.
17-year old who is coached by Justin Parsons has already competed in major competitions such as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and most recently Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he made it to the final day of play.
In recent years, the School of Golf has seen its students attain scholarships at the University of Southern California and the University of Tulsa and has also seen Junior players performing in all three tournaments of the Desert Swing.
Speaking about the partnership James Tucker, principal director GEMS Sports Academy said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Dubai Sports City.
“The partnership will not only grant students access to world-class golfing facilities but they will also have access to world-class coaching at the Butch Harmon School of Golf.
“This combined with the education we can provide allows us to grow the talent in the next generation of athletes, which can also lead to a scholarship at a world-wide University.”