US President Donald Trump’s sons are set to inaugurate a branded “iconic” golf course in Dubai Saturday, the first launch for the business empire since Trump took office in January.
“Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of the iconic golfing destination Trump International Golf Club Dubai,” read the invitation from DAMAC Properties, a major regional luxury real estate developer.
The invitation card, embossed in gold and sealed in a golf course print envelope, specified the dress code as either business attire or national dress.
Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump are to attend.
The launch comes just over one month after Trump, then president-elect, said he had rejected a $2 billion deal in Dubai as a personal, and not official, move.
“I didn’t have to turn it down,” Trump told a press conference in New York. “But I have a no-conflict-of-interest provision as president.”
Since his November victory, Trump has publicly said he would remove himself from running his business empire, transferring corporate control to his sons. But he has resisted divesting despite calls by ethics organisations.
The Trump Organization pledged on January 11 it would no longer pursue new deals outside of the United States. The 18-hole Dubai golf course however predates the pledge, with talks surrounding the project going back 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 from it.
Ethics lawyers in the United States are now suing Trump alleging violation of the US constitution.
Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) filed a lawsuit in January alleging that Trump’s business ties violate an emolument clause in the constitution which prohibits the acceptance of payments from foreign governments by US officials.
US presidents are not legally required to give up business or investments while in office.