Prior to getting involved in US politics, former US President Donald Trump was amongst the world's well-known businessmen, one who continuously pursues business deals worldwide, especially real estate related ones.
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Interest in the business opportunities in the Middle East has been no exception, which is why Trump had for years engaged in serious discussions over investments, including ones in the UAE and KSA.
However, his 2015 decision to run for office and winning the 2016 elections had urged him to announce putting all of his business plans on hold in order for him "to avoid conflict of interest." Now that he left the White House for good after ending his first term and failing to win a reelection, questions over his future business plans are on the rise.
Since politics had brought Trump and most of the GCC leaders closer over the last four years, analysts are increasingly wondering whether this will facilitate business talks for potential investments he could make in the UAE, KSA, or elsewhere in the region.
According to the Washington Post, business cooperation between Trump and the Saudi government dates back to the 1990s, when he sold an apartment near the United Nations to the Saudi government for $4.5 million. Similarly, Trump seems to have had a great relationship with a Saudi prince who bought a superyacht and hotel from him for $20 million; during a financial hardship Trump was overcoming during the same decade.
During one of the election rallies in 2015, Trump disclosed his close business ties with the Saudis, saying that they invest millions of dollars in the property he owns.
Amongst the Emirati names that had already considered business partnerships with the former president is Hassan Sajwani, whose DAMAC has partnered with Trump in an 18-hole golf course and club in Dubai in 2017. Last week, CNN reported that Sajwani is interested in pursuing business deals with Trump after his term ends.
During the first few months of the Trump administration, Bloomberg reported a visit by Eric Trump to Dubai, in which "new ideas" were discussed in the country where the Trumps have helped build a golf course
Even after he was sworn in as US President in January 2017 and imposed a ban on self operated foreign deals, Trump hotels in Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago continued to report an increase in Saudi visitors, the Post reports.
Do you think Trump will expand his business interests in the Middle East over the next years? How will this impact the local economies?
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