"He has countless amounts of money! We are very far away from our houses, from our children, our families. It hurts us."
These are the words of a young Pakistani man who works for a construction company connected to Trump's Dubai golf course, as told to The New York Times. The man is complaining because he hasn't received his salary on time, forcing him to accumulate debt to survive.
The Trump International Golf Club, which U.S. President Donald Trump's sons flew to Dubai to open in February, is owned and operated through a partnership between The Trump Organization and a UAE-based developer. Although Trump has removed himself from direct involvement in his family business since he became president, his children continue to manage the organization.
Workers make meager wages
In recent months, workers at the golf course, who make between $200 and $400 per month, have raised significant complaints about late salary payments. The problem has even led some of the employees to strike, as the late payments go against local labor laws.
It is unlikely that the U.S. president is directly aware of the situation. His sons are managing the company and the employees do not work directly for The Trump Organization.
"Trump is not the owner or developer of Trump International Golf Club Dubai nor does it oversee construction or employ or supervise any of the companies or individuals who have been retained to work on the building of the project," a spokesperson for The Trump Organization told the New York Times in a statement.
Although the Trump business has distanced itself from the problem, it looks bad for the U.S. president's family organization to profit while laborers working on the company's project are forced to amass debt. The president had earned up to $10 million from his Dubai golf courses as of last year, according to financial disclosures [PDF] he filed.
"Great, great future in Dubai"
Trump visited Dubai back in 2014, about two and a half years before he was elected president of the U.S., for the launch of his first golf course in the emirate. At the time, he lavished praise on the rapidly developing city.
"I think there's great, great future in Dubai," he said at the time.
"I think Dubai is very solid. It's a solid investment now," the billionaire businessmen and reality TV star added. He also described the city and its people as "vibrant" and "great."
"I have great confidence in Dubai and the people of Dubai," Trump said.
When his sons visited in February, Donald Trump Jr. extended the family's praise to Dubai's ruler.
"To see the incredible vision Sheikh Mohammed has been able to put forward for this country is truly awe-inspiring," Trump Jr. said.
While the Trumps appear to like Dubai bigly, they seem far-less concerned about ensuring those building the city – and their own projects – are treated fairly.