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Tue 20 Mar 2007 01:13 PM

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Trump trumpets Dubai economy

The US entrepreneur bigs up the emirate as a gateway between Europe and Asia.

Dubai has changed fundamentally in the last ten years, according to world renowned entrepreneur, Donald J. Trump, founder and CEO of the Trump Organisation, and it is real estate development - not oil - that has fuelled a tripling in size of the economy. Real estate and construction account for over 21% of Dubai's GDP.

Talking in an exclusive interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG) the UK-based publisher of the world's leading business intelligence guides, Trump explains why he felt the time was right to bring his own special brand to the emirate in the form of the Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower on the Palm Jumeirah.

"For me personally, it is the government's commitment to building a first-class economy with a first-class infrastructure that makes Dubai so appealing," said Trump. "That is why I decided to invest and partner with Nakheel in building the most luxurious residences and hotel-condominiums that Dubai has ever seen."

Booming markets happen, according to Trump, but Dubai is different. "What's been done here is a marvel. I am excited about Dubai's growth potential long into the future because Dubai is now becoming the gateway between Europe and Asia. Dubai is more than just an ultra-luxurious tourist hub; it is quickly becoming a haven for economic development in different areas - from health care to global finance to biotechnology."

Trump's plans for Dubai do not end with the Palm Jumeirah development, with further investment in the region in the pipeline. "We are currently looking to build a 150-room boutique hotel and spa in addition to thousands of residential units with Nakheel. I have built my reputation on providing first class luxury developments all over the world - so there is no limit to all the amazing potential that we will have in developing properties all over the region."

Set against a background of surging construction activity throughout the Middle East, fuelled by high oil prices, renewed liquidity and strong investor confidence, OBG's Editorial Manager for Dubai, Gaspard Metzger, believes that the construction boom is set to continue. "An estimated US$1 trillion dollars worth of projects are currently planned or underway throughout the six Gulf Co-operation Council States of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia," he said.

"Key indicators are that Dubai alone has 24 million square feet of commercial office space currently under development - the second highest ratio in the world after Moscow - while construction projects in the UAE are expected to hit the US$ 300 billion mark this year."

The full interview with Donald Trump is published in the latest OBG annual 'Emerging Dubai 2006'. Written by a team of international analysts based on the ground for six months, the 240-page research-based book has 200 private and public sector interviews, including top-level contributions from some of Dubai's most influential business, political and social leaders.

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