Eldest Trump sons jet to Dubai for lavish wedding

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have jetted to Dubai to attend a wedding for an Arab business magnate and business pa...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 8:45 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 8:45 AM

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have jetted to Dubai to attend a wedding for an Arab business magnate and business partner for the Trump Organization, according to two sources familiar with their travel plans. Lara Trump, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and Eric's wife, also plans to attend the wedding.

Hussain Sajwani, a real estate developer who has been dubbed "The Donald of Dubai," is throwing a lavish wedding for his daughter, Amira, over several days in Dubai, the oil-rich country with lucrative business ties to the Trump Organization. Amira works with her father, serving as the chief finance officer for DAMAC, bearing a similar resemblance to the relationship between President Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump.

The traditional wedding separates the men and women during celebrations and has included a canopy fashioned with flowers and a fire display for the bride -- as well as the attendance of the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization confirmed that the brothers would be traveling to the region.

"On this visit, they will be spending time with the Sajwani Family, the incredible developers behind DAMAC properties and will be visiting the team at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai which opened to rave reviews in February 2017. Don Jr. & Eric will also be checking in on the progress of the Trump World Golf Club, Dubai, a Tiger Woods design that is currently under construction."

Lara Trump, who is married to Eric Trump, posted a photo Thursday from the wedding in Dubai.

In 2017, Forbes listed Sajwani as the 10th wealthiest Arab in the world, estimating his wealth at $3.7 billion dollars. Trump and Sajwani met in 2005, according to previous CNN reporting. They had plans to build twin Trump towers in Dubai, but the global financial crisis killed that idea.

When a huge swath of land in the middle of the desert captured Sajwani's eye a few years later, he struck a deal with Trump to build the golf course for the development.

Despite Trump's 2016 presidential campaign call to ban all Muslim travel to the United States, Sajwani stuck by his business partner.

"He had a strong brand -- and no question in the last 12 months, his brand became stronger and more global. I think it will have a positive impact on sales," he told CNN Money in November 2016. "He's in no way discriminative. He doesn't discriminate against sex, religion or anything else."

During his first news conference as President-elect in January 2017, Trump broached his business dealings with Sajwani -- and pointed to turning down a deal with Sajwani as his commitment to no conflicts of interest, adding that he didn't "want to take advantage of something."

"Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East, Hussain, DAMAC, a friend of mine, great guy," he told reporters during the freewheeling news conference. "And I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai -- a number of deals and I turned it down."

DAMAC Properties confirmed that it had discussed a new business deal with the President-elect in a statement to CNN at the time.

"DAMAC can confirm that the discussions took place as stated in the media briefing, but the proposals were declined," a spokesperson for the company said. "These proposals were for a variety of different property deals."

Trump also heaped praise on Sajwani during a New Year's Eve toast at his Mar-a-Lago club in December 2016.

"Hussain, and whole family from Dubai, the most beautiful people from Dubai are here tonight and they're seeing it and they love it," Trump said as he stood on stage in his tuxedo.

Sajwani is not a member of Mar-a-Lago, the President's exclusive club in Florida, but is often there according to a source familiar. He has been seen chatting with the President, but mostly spends time with Eric Trump according to one person.

The Arab businessman's verified Instagram account depicts a lifestyle centered around family, business, inspirational speeches, luxury travel and a few "throwback Thursday" posts.

There's a smattering of meetings with the rich and powerful as well, including an "informal lunch" with Stephen Harper, the former Canadian prime minister and, of course, Trump.

Sajwani recently posted a photo in January of himself with the President at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying that he spent his "final hour at a reception honoring my dear friend, President Trump @realdonaldtrump, the first US President to visit Davos in almost 20 years."

The billionaire businessman told Bloomberg News in July 2017 that he has no qualms about potential conflicts of interest that his relationship might have with the first family.

"Mr. Trump getting elected definitely enhanced the profile of his organization's brand," he said in the London office of his company, DAMAC Properties Dubai Co. "Being his partner, we get a benefit."

According to the Trump Organization website, the company recently opened a Trump International Golf Club in the DAMAC Hills development and is developing a second course with DAMAC Properties that is a Tiger Woods Design. In the desert oasis, both properties feature lush luxury restaurants, a clubhouse, fitness centers and other amenities.

A Trump Organization official said that there are no new international deals being struck in Dubai or elsewhere, in keeping with the business's pledge while Trump is in office.

The Trumps have visited Sajwani in Dubai on several occasions. Donald and Ivanka Trump visited Dubai in May 2014, attending a news conference with Sajwani regarding the announcement of a Trump golf course in the Emirati state. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump attended the opening of the Trump International Golf Course in February 2017 according to an Instagram post by Sajwani.

And Donald Trump Jr. visited Sajwani in Dubai last May, according to an Instagram post by the Emirati businessman. In the caption, he said that the two were "discussing new ideas and innovation always make our meetings even more interesting."

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