Migrant workers in Oman are constructing a new luxury “city” that includes a Trump-branded hotel.
They are laboring in extreme heat for as little as $340 a month, The New York Times reported.
Trump’s ties to the project, backed by a Saudi real estate company, have been criticized by watchdogs.
Guests at this new cliffside hotel in the gulf state of Oman will enjoy infinity pools, fine dining, and a stunning 360-degree view of the water below as the heart of what the Trump Organization describes as a “new affluent community” that will include high-end retail, a gated promenade, and an 18,000-square foot golf course designed and managed by former president Donald Trump’s company.
But while guests at this Trump-managed property may enjoy top-tier relaxation, those building the project are doing so in an environment that is both physically hostile — this week’s forecast shows temperatures as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit in the neighboring Omani capital — and notoriously exploitative, with migrant workers being paid as little as $340 a month, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Backed by a Saudi real estate firm that recruited the former president’s firm, the plan — to build an exclusive new city overlooking the Gulf of Oman — has drawn criticism from the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as an apparent conflict of interest as Donald Trump again runs for president.
The investment opportunity, which required zero money down and has already netted the Trump Organization $5 million, came after a presidential term that saw Trump cultivate close relations with the region’s autocrats (Oman is led by an unelected sultan).
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who led diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, himself received a $2 billion investment from the Saudi government just after leaving the White House.
“It is the kind of corruption our founding fathers were most worried about.” Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told the New York Times.
The Trump Organization, which will not own any of the properties bearing the former president’s name but will instead oversee their management for 30 years, did not respond to a request for comment.
Critics of the project note that Oman is not regarded as a safe and welcoming environment for foreign labour.
“Migrant workers are often not paid their full wages, are forced to work excessively long hours, and are denied adequate food and living conditions,” according to a 2021 report from Human Rights Watch. Workers who try to leave abusive or negligent employers, the group said, “risk imprisonment and deportation.”
Over a thousand migrant workers, many hailing from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, work 10-hour shifts before returning to trailers that line the under-construction city. The government of Oman claims that, when finished, the project will serve as the world’s “largest sustainable community.”
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