Donald Trump’s course is making Dubai golf great again

The newly-opened Trump course in Damac Hills has impressed golfers as well as the city’s foodies.

Robert Chilton May 18, 2017

You can accuse Donald Trump of many things (and many do) but you can’t deny the man knows how to build a golf club. The US President has lent his name and internationally respected golf brand to Dubai’s first new course in seven years.

The architecturally modern Trump International Golf Club is set among 5,000 villas, including some designed by Fendi, in Damac Hills near Studio City.

The club shop stocks Nike, Adidas and Hugo Boss, plus cool retro Titleist leather holdalls. You won’t find Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ red caps, but you can buy a hat bearing the Trump golf club logo for AED 150 or a Trump polo shirt for AED 250. 

There’s a sports bar, The Ninth, but The Terrace feels like the hub for meeting and eating. Italian chef Fernando Galbiati produces superb dishes such as rigatoni with smoked duck, fried calamari, and a prawn salad – perfect fodder after 18 holes. Outside, the curved patio overlooking the first and ninth greens is impressive, especially when the fire pits are ignited. 

The bar around the corner is members only during the day but opens to all at 6pm. Next to that is the fine dining venue, Fifth Avenue, its name inspired by Trump’s beloved New York, while upstairs is the shisha bar, Assana. The gym and infinity pool, stocked with fluffy white towels bearing the Trump insignia, are stylishly done.

But what about the golf? It’s a links style 18-hole course designed by Gil Hanse who created the Rio Olympics golf course. It’s already attracted famous faces such as Paul Scholes, Kevin Pietersen, Darren Gough and football players from Stoke City and Glasgow Celtic.

Just like a typical links course in Scotland, you’ll find tufty grass, not much rough, and undulating, wide fairways that narrow to unpredictable greens. Club sales manager Nathan Gatland tells EDGAR, “This is a thinking course.” As well as the 9- and 18-hole courses the club has a floodlit driving range. Just as in Washington, Trump has big plans he wants to accomplish in Dubai and in 2018, Tiger Woods’ course will open down the road at Trump World Golf Club.

Annual membership starts from AED 35,000;