Trump joins Dubai hotel project

American construction and gambling kingpin Donald Trump is joining forces with top Dubai developer Nakheel LLC to build a tulip-shaped hotel on a man-made island designed like a palm tree.

    Dubai is emerging as a hub for business and tourism

    The deal that Nakheel announced on Wednesday brings together two of the world's flashiest developers, and marks Trump's first foray into the Middle East.

    Trump is behind the construction of Manhattan skyscrapers and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Nakheel, which is controlled by Dubai's crown prince, is in the midst of building four clusters of man-made islands that will be studded with pricey villas and hotels.

    "We're tapping into his knowledge and ability in the high-end sector," Nakheel chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said of Trump.

    The Trump Organisation is not required to invest any money, but is providing its brand to projects that could be entirely financed and built by Nakheel, Bin Sulayem told Dow Jones Newswires.

    Building developments

    "We'll continue to build things and launch things. This will allow (Trump) to invest if he wants to."

    Nakheel plans to break ground next year on a luxury hotel, The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower, which will be built on the Palm Jumeirah, one of three palm-shaped islands that Nakheel is building off Dubai's coast.

    "Dubai has proven to be an economic anchor, an engine for growth and tourism in the Middle East"

    Donald Trump

    The Trump hotel will be the centerpiece of development on the "trunk" of the Palm Jumeirah island, where construction is under way on a residential and retail boulevard dubbed the Golden Mile.

    Trump "was really blown away by the size of the projects here," Bin Sulayem said.

    Cylinder shaped

    An architect's rendering of the hotel showed a cylinder-shaped building surrounded by four gold-sheathed petals resembling a flowering tulip.

    Bin Sulayem and other Nakheel officials declined to provide details on the building's size and cost.

    A second project, The Trump Plaza and Marina Residences, will also be built on the Palm Jumeira, Nakheel announced in a statement.

    "Dubai has proven to be an economic anchor, an engine for growth and tourism in the Middle East," Trump said in the statement. "We anticipate a long-term relationship between The Trump Organisation and Nakheel that will involve direct investment, sales and marketing, and management."

    Trump brand

    Dubai is one of the world's
    fastest-growing cities

    A Nakheel official who declined to be named said Trump's name will be on a third hotel and residential complex on another development, The World - a man-made archipelago of more than 300 islands arrayed in a map of the globe.

    The joint venture gives Nakheel exclusive rights to build Trump-branded properties in 20 Middle Eastern countries. Despite Trump's credentials as a casino builder, gambling was not part of the discussions, the Nakheel official said.

    Gambling is illegal in the United Arab Emirates.

    The statement said the New York-based Trump Organisation had 2004 revenues estimated at $10.4 billion and 22,000 employees. Nakheel says it has 14 projects worth $30 billion completed or planned. It is run by Dubai's crown prince,

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

    Dubai is one of the world's fastest-growing cities and is emerging as a hub for business and tourism. The number of tourists doubled in 1999-2004 to reach 5.4 million.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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