Dubai - US
President Donald Trump's sons are to inaugurate a branded golf course
in Dubai on Saturday, the first public launch for the business empire
since Trump took office in January.
Donald Trump jnr and Eric Trump will attend the opening of the Trump
International Golf Club Dubai, developed by luxury real estate company
DAMAC Properties. The launch comes amid growing concern in Washington
over the president's potential conflict of interest.
In January, Trump - at the time still president-elect - said he had
rejected a $2 billion deal with DAMAC in Dubai as a personal and not
"I didn't have to turn it down," he told a press conference in
January. "But I have a no-conflict-of-interest provision as president."
Trump sparked controversy last year in the mainly Muslim United Arab
Emirates when he said during his campaign that he wanted to impose a
"total and complete shutdown of Muslims" entering the United States.
Dubai-based concept store Lifestyle, which has branches across the
Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, announced it would no longer sell
Trump-branded home decor items out of respect for its customers.
DAMAC Properties at the time declined to comment on Trump's remarks, but said the golf course development would continue.
The United Arab Emirates is not among the seven majority-Muslim
countries listed on Trump's controversial executive order restricting
travel to the United States.
Since his November victory, Trump has said he will remove himself
from running his business empire and transfer corporate control to his
two eldest sons.
But the president has resisted divesting despite calls by ethics organisations.
The Trump Organization has instead said it would no longer pursue new deals outside of the United States.
The 18-hole Dubai golf course predates the pledge, with talks surrounding the project going back at least to 2015.
Critics have raised questions of conflict of interest over Trump's
business ties on the grounds that while the president is no longer
nominally in charge of his eponymous empire, he may continue to profit
Ethics lawyers in the United States are now suing Trump for alleged violation of the US constitution.
Liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit in January, arguing that Trump's
business ties violate an emolument clause in the constitution which
prohibits the acceptance of payments from foreign governments by US
US presidents are not legally required to give up business or investments while in office.