More on Hanse Dubai course; update on Olympic course

By now, everyone knows that Gil Hanse’s course in Dubai will be the centerpiece of an ultra-luxurious community that’s being developed by Damac Properties. As part of the marketing campaign for Akoya and Trump International Golf Club Dubai, Damac’s managing director, Ziad El Chaar, talked about the venture with Sport360. What he had to say speaks volumes about the way residential developers view golf courses and their role in upscale communities.

Here’s a distillation of his comments:

We have a great set of customers who have been telling us for some time that we like Damac’s luxury but we’d like it in a villa or a mansion. We thought about it for some time and came to the conclusion that if you want to build a luxury residential community of villas and mansions, your best option is to build it around a golf course. . . .

We believe that having a championship-size and championship-quality golf course is the key to building a premium residential community. . . . It’s what determines the premiumness of the community.

Let’s face it, a villa is a villa. You can only do so much with the interiors. . . . Once you have a villa on a golf course, a lot of prestige and premium gets attached to it.

Having said that, we do not want just any 18-hole course. We want to be true to the spirit of golf, and we want the golf course to be an experience in itself. That is the reason why we have teamed up with the Trump Organization, a most respected name in not just the real estate industry but also in the golf course business, which is why we have someone as respected as Gil Hanse designing our golf course. . . .
This is our first golf course project, and we are banking completely on their proven reputation. Maybe we will be more specific on inputs when we are building our fifth or sixth golf course!

Seeing as how his attention is supposed to be focused on the golf course for the 2016 Olympics, how has Gil Hanse managed to find the time to work on Donald Trump’s course in Dubai?

Answer: The golf course in Rio de Janeiro has fallen behind schedule again.

The anticipated completion date has now been pushed back by four months, to August 2015, which is as far back as it can go without impacting the tournaments that have already been scheduled.

One other thing: Hanse is no longer living full time in Brazil, though he does plan to be there for two weeks a month until the work is completed.

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