Phil Blizzard here speaks with Donald Trump, chairman and president, The Trump Organisation, who had just flown with his daughter Ivanka into Dubai onboard their private jet – a Boeing 757.
Landing at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the purpose of their visit was to inspect the progress of the development of The Trump International Golf Course.
The New York based Trump Organisation is collaborating with Dubai based DAMAC Properties to create a 42 million square foot golf community.
Following a drive on the first tee by Trump on a rather dusty, windy morning Phil Blizzard asked the famous billionaire how it felt to be out on the course and to hit the first ball.
Donald Trump: Well, it was a great feeling.
When standing over that ball, and looking down that fairway, to me was like as good as an experience as you can have.
The fairway is so beautiful.
The feel is good, and I’ve stood over balls, and stood over shots and as a golfer, you understand what I mean, where it doesn’t feel good.
This just feels good; this is a really great course.
Breaking Travel News: What’s brought the Donald Trump Organisation to this part of Dubai, and as you say the development of a great course is in progress?
DT: This great gentleman, Hussein Sajwani, chief executive of Damac Properties brought us here.
He’s a tremendous man, he’s got a tremendous company DeMac, and the country itself is just amazing.
You know, what they’ve done in Dubai in a short period of time has been amazing, and you know, not to even mention what we’re doing here.
We’re building something that not only is special in golf, but is special in luxury, and it’s doing really well.
So I’m really proud. But Hussein really got us to do this.
BTN: Golf is an important driver to so many aspects of economies around the world. In Scotland, you’ve been recognised for bringing a lot of investment, boosting the tourist industry. How does that fit into what you’re doing here, do you think, and the tourism industry in Dubai?
DT: I think this is going to have a huge impact on Dubai.
Even beyond what we’re doing, just Dubai, and maybe even if you talk about the whole picture.
This is going to have a tremendous impact.
There’s no question about it.
You know what I did in Scotland; I did a course there that just has brought so much business, that it’s incredible.
People can’t even believe it.
They’re talking numbers up 52 per cent, and 56 per cent, I think this is going to have the same kind of impact.
I mean all over the world it’s already being covered.
Honestly, if we didn’t have the great golf course, a lot of the folks that are covering us today wouldn’t be here, including you.
BTN: The Trump Triangle is a project linking, three courses in Scotland, and also Ireland, with golfers flying to each course by helicopter. So on those lines how about a global thing, where people fly around by private jet linking up courses across the world. Maybe starting in Dubai, then across to Scotland and the United States?
DT: Well, that very well could happen with here.
In fact, I felt it was a very quick - we were about seven hours in the air from Scotland, and that is really- nowadays, pretty quick, and I could see that very much.
I think my members from all over the world will be coming to Dubai to play this great course.
BTN: And where next in terms of golf development for you?
DT: I don’t think in terms of it.
I’ve built one of the greatest courses in the world in Turnbury, I just built what a lot of people say is the greatest course ever built, and I think that - I don’t really think about it.
It’s not my major focus in life, but I love doing it.
I do it well, and it helps a lot of people, and in this case, I think that it is just something we’re really proud of in Dubai.
Dubai was voted the World’s Leading Destination by the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2013.
There is more information on the destination on the official website.