The $500 million Trump International Oman has launched with an expected opening in 2028 and the Trump Org probably just earned a large payment from a Saudi company as Trump runs for president

Trump International Oman
Photo courtesy of Dar Global press release

While the media has been consumed with coverage of the recent presidential debate and the many legal cases against Donald Trump, the Trump Organization continues to profit from foreign companies as Trump continues to mix his business interests with his political agenda.

Last week a press release announced that Dar Global, a majority owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabian real estate company Dar Al Arkan, has launched the $500 million Trump International Oman in Aida with a projected opening date set for December 2028. The Trump Organization team working on the project is led by Eric Trump.

The Trump Organization signed a licensing and management deal with Dar Al Arkan in 2022. The Trump Organization and Donald Trump will earn significant licensing fees for use of the Trump brand name, and will receive additional fees to manage the hotel, golf course and luxury villas which will be developed and launched over the next decade.

While the exact terms of the deal are not known, according to Trump’s 2023 financial disclosure for the year 2022, Trump had earned $5.35 million in licensing fees for the golf project in Oman.

I have reported extensively on Saudi Arabian funding of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner through the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and LIV Golf. The licensing deal in Oman adds another multi-million dollar income stream from a Saudi Arabian business that benefits Donald Trump while he is running for president.

While this deal has been previously reported, most media outlets have yet to report on announcements from last week on the official launch of the hotel.

The Trump Organization’s 2022 licensing deal with Saudi company Dar Al Arkan

In November 2022 the Trump Organization signed a licensing deal for a new $1.6 billion golf and property resort in Oman. The New York Times reported on this deal noting that:

The Trump Organization will license its name for a planned golf course in Oman, renewing questions about the former president’s mixing of politics and business as he appears poised for another run.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company is a Saudi Arabian company and, according to the 2023 financials, it owns 88% of Dar Global PLC, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, and trades on the London Stock Exchange.

The 2023 Prospectus for Dar Global PLC includes detailed information on the November 2022 agreement between Dar Oman and the Trump Organization’s company DT Marks Oman LLC.

DT Marks Oman will manage various aspects of Dar Oman’s Aida project in Oman, including management of a luxury hotel, a golf course, and luxury residential properties next to the golf course. The development of these various entities has a completion date of 2034.

Dar Oman will cause all advertising, marketing and promotional materials used after 14 November 2022 to reflect the management of the Hotel by the Hotel Manager and display the “Trump International Hotel Oman” mark as the name of the Hotel, subject to the terms of the Hotel Management Agreement and to the prior written approval of the Hotel Manager.

Like most other licensing deals, the Trump Organization does not invest any of its own money in this deal and the Trump Organization has significant management control over the hotel, golf course and residential properties and will earn significant fees (which are not specified in the filing). The prospectus describes more about how DT Marks Oman LLC will act as the Hotel and Golf Club Manager:

All of the expenses and capital expenditures incurred in connection with the operation and management of the Hotel will be the responsibility of Dar Oman. The Hotel Manager will not under any circumstances be required to advance any of its own funds for the operation of the Hotel. Dar Oman will be required to timely deposit into the operating account the funds in the amounts agreed between the parties in the Hotel Management Agreement. Dar Oman authorises the Hotel Manager to pay itself directly from this account all management fees, the Hotel Manager’s out-of-pocket expenses and other sums due to the Hotel Manager.

The prospectus notes that the Aidi project in Oman managed by the Trump Organization “is by far the largest of all the development projects of the Group” and the Directors estimate the gross development value of this project to be AED 8,829 million (US $2.4 billion) and the total cost of the project is estimated to be AED 6,282 million (US $1.7 billion).

Here is some more information on the deal from a 2023 Dar Global corporate overview:

The Trump Organization probably just received a large payment for the start of construction in Oman

The Trump Organization real estate deals have fallen into two broad categories: 1) ownership deals where Trump directly owns properties or co-invest with other partners such as Vornado, and 2) license deals where Trump has an agreement with a developer who raises the money while Trump licenses his name and manages the property. In license deals Trump almost never invests or risks his own money but benefits by earning large sums of money from various types of fixed and variable fees.

While the exact terms of the Trump International Oman deal are not known, according to Trump’s 2023 financial disclosure for the year 2022, Trump had earned $5.35 million in licensing fees for the golf project in Oman.

Some of the Trump Organization’s prior licensing deal documents are publicly available, including an agreement for a failed 2006 deal for the Trump Ocean Resort in Baja Mexico and a 2015 Letter of Intent/LOI for an agreement that was never executed for Trump World Tower Moscow.

Both of these documents list fees in various categories, including upfront or fixed fees paid upon various milestones including execution of the agreement, approval of the location, and the start of construction. Other fees include gross sales fees or a percent of gross revenue. Based on these prior license agreements it is likely that the announcement of the launch of construction on the Oman hotel was accompanied by a scheduled payment to the Trump Organization and that there will be upcoming construction milestone payments in the next few years.

Examples of prior license fees from 2015 Trump Moscow LOI on the left and 2006 Trump Baja agreement on the right

Dar Global plans to invest $300 million in the U.S.

A recent story announced that Dar Global plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the U.S. luxury home market.

Saudi property developer Dar Global plans to invest $300 million in New York, Miami and Los Angeles in the coming months as it seeks partners to develop luxury homes the United States.

However, according to the press release, Dar Global does not think that the Trump Organization or Kushner Companies will be the right partner for them:

El Chaar said while it will be an “honor” for Dar Global to partner with the Trump Organization or the Kushner Companies, Kushner’s family real estate firm, in its U.S. expansion, he did not think they have the “right product” as they are too focused on the U.S. market, as opposed to the international buyer targeted by Dar Global.

Time will tell if Dar Global picks other partners or if they change their mind and work with the Trump Organization or Kushner Companies. Regardless, continued attention needs to be paid to the companies doing business with Trump, especially the foreign business partners who have a great deal to gain if Trump wins the 2024 election.


Update: Dar Global just signed a deal for a new Trump branded tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Shortly after the Trump Organization attended the launch of development for the $500 million Trump International Oman in partnership with Saudi company Dar Global, the New York Times has reported that Dar Global has a new deal to build a Trump-branded tower in Jeddah.

The Trump Organization has signed a new deal with a Saudi real estate company to build a residential high-rise tower in the city of Jeddah, extending the family’s close ties with the kingdom… Saudi Arabia has become one of the few reliable sources of growth for the Trump family’s business operations, as new real estate deals in the United States have slowed or stopped since the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol and since former President Donald J. Trump left the White House.

This story has been updated to include this news on the Dar Global deal in Jeddah.

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