Trump’s Dubai Partner Eyes London Developments on Cheaper Pound

  • Damac is looking for new projects in Saudi, Qatar: chairman
  • Dubai home values won’t change dramatically in next 2 years

Damac Properties Dubai Co. PJSC, the company building Donald Trump-branded homes and a golf course in Dubai, said it may expand developments in London as the weak British currency attracts buyers.

“With the pound continuing where it is, we think there are more opportunities in London because the overseas buyers will be more interested,’’ Damac Chairman Hussain Sajwani said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday. “We launched a tower a year ago in London and we are doing well.’’

Last year, Damac started selling a 50-story tower in the U.K. capital’s Nine Elms district with Italian fashion house Gianni Versace SpA providing the interior design. The tower, Aykon London One, will include 360 apartments. The pound has fallen 17 percent against the U.S. dollar, to which Dubai’s dirham is pegged, since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.

Damac, which is already developing residential towers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar is also looking to build more in those markets, Sajwani said. Prices in Dubai dropped about five percent last year amid increasing supply and low demand. A strengthening dollar has eroded Dubai’s attraction as a tourist destination for visitors from Russia, the U.K. and Europe.

“We expect the coming two years will remain the same,’’ Sajwani said. “I don’t see a big jump up or down in Dubai prices.’’

Damac’s shares traded in Dubai advanced 1.5 percent on Wednesday, the most for a single session in almost two weeks.

"Expanding to developed countries such as the UK, where we saw drop in real estate prices and devaluation, is a good move," said Tariq Qaqish, the managing director for asset management at Al Mal Capital PSC. "On the other hand, Dubai real estate market continues to attract new investors and sales are solid, even under this current environment."

This year, Damac is expected to open one of two Trump-branded golf courses it’s building at the Akoya project in Dubai. The project will include a second course as well as more than 100 mansions.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE