Although President Trump has stepped back from daily management of the Trump Organization, his businesses continue to expand, often in foreign countries.
On Saturday, Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr. will be in the United Arab Emirates, helping cut the ribbon for the new Trump International Golf Club, according to Kim Benza, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization.
The 18-hole golf course, in the works since 2013, is part of a larger project that will include 100 luxury villas in the desert just outside Dubai. The website touts “a world-class golf course, exceeding all expectations. And the clubhouse contains “enough gold to suit even the most exacting Dubai resident,” says the Gulf News, which toured the facility.
The golf course is one of two Trump resort projects in Dubai. Behind both is the Dubai-based company Damac Properties, run by billionaire Hussain Sajwani, a Trump business partner for almost a decade.
In the week before his inauguration, Trump said that he turned down a $2 billion deal by Damac Properties to develop yet another golf course in Dubai because he didn’t “want to take advantage of something.”
Trump has been criticized for not divesting his family business. While he has moved his holdings into a revocable trust, he has not given up ownership and the trustees are his sons.
Eric and Donald Jr. are overseeing resorts still underway in places such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Trump Hotels also is planning a major expansion of luxury properties in the United States, as well as opening up a line of moderately priced hotels called Scion.
Those expansions not only raise ethical questions about conflicts between Trump’s role as president and as business owner but are generating concerns about costs to the U.S. taxpayers. The Trump sons get Secret Service protection, and their foreign business trips can be enormously expensive for their protective service, according to The Washington Post.