Donald Trump's global properties: A web of local alliances

  • President Donald Trump, whose real estate interests span the globe, has long depended on locally prominent developers, often with political connections, to erect buildings with his name on them. That has sometimes led to its own series of complications, ranging from the financial collapse of his Korean partner to objections in Canada about his views on immigration.

    Mr. Trump has turned over operations of his Trump Organization to his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric -- a step meant to defuse accusations about conflicts of interest. (Indeed, the sons on Tuesday are slated to be in Vancouver, British Columbia, to cut the ribbon on the latest Trump hotel and condo venture.) A request to the company for comment on its global operations was not answered.

    Family Business

    Donald Trump and his children Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr. during festivities for the 92-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008.


    Hurt by debt-burdened buildings that he financed in the 1990s, when he almost went bust, the Trump M.O. nowadays is to strike licensing deals with other developers who put up the money. The Trump Organization provides its brand name and guidance in construction, then serves as building manager. Nevertheless, it's often unclear what specific arrangements the Trump company has with its overseas partners.

    In Indonesia, plans are in place to build two luxury resorts, one in Bali overlooking a grand Hindu temple and one in West Java. Mr. Trump's campaign disclosure form said he has received up to $10 million for these two projects. His local business partner, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, is a billionaire media mogul who has run for national office and is starting a new political party. The website last month described him in a flattering profile as "maybe Indonesia's next president." How these projects will proceed and when are not known.

    At the same time, the Trump Organization has shown that it will ax a project if the local business climate sours. That was the case in Azerbaijan, an oil-dependent former Soviet republic, bordering Iran to the south with a population that's 97 percent Muslim. When oil prices plunged, the country's economy tanked. The Trump firm in December pulled out of a licensing arrangement for an almost-completed but unopened 33-story, sail-shaped hotel-condo building in the capital, Baku.

    When the president announced his temporary ban on allowing people from seven Muslim-majority countries, some critics objected that none of them contained a Trump-branded property. What those critics often failed to acknowledge, however, was that none of the seven countries are attractive to business travelers and high-end tourists: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are unstable, war-torn or, in Iran's case, a dictatorship.

    And it's the tony locales that the Trumps want to be in, as you'll see in the following pages. Those have had headaches and complications, too. But the plan is to team up with local movers and shakers to make things happen.

    Read on for a look at some of the Trump Organization's real estate holdings around the world.

  • Larry Light

    Larry Light is a veteran financial editor and reporter who has worked for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Money, AdviceIQ and Newsday.