Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Birmingham, Ala
Dubai - For Trump, the hostile reactions his comments had sparked could prove to be a major setback for several iconic projects he is currently associated with, particularly with Damac Properties.
US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Wednesday drew a barrage of backlashes from the UAE's business and investment spectrum over his call to bar Muslims from travelling to the US.
The Gulf's retail giant, Dubai-based Landmark Group, said it would pull all Trump home decor products from its 180 Lifestyle stores in the region as it "values and respects the sentiments of its customers".
"In light of the recent statements made by the presidential candidate in the US media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump Home décor range," said Lifestyle CEO Sachin Mundhwa. Lifestyle is a subsidiary of Landmark Group.
Trump, the billionaire businessmen who is currently derided across the world for his incendiary racial remarks, drew his first flak from Emirati business magnate Khalaf Al Habtoor, who has been a staunch supporter of Trump's candidature.
Al Habtoor's immediate reaction on Wednesday was that he regretted backing Trump. "It was a shocking comment," he said referring to Trump's call for a total ban on Muslims from travelling to the US.
"If he comes to my office, I will not let him in. I reject him," Al Habtoor was quoted as saying in the media.
"I think he damaged all his brand in all the Muslim countries ... nobody will accept him," said Al Habtoor.
For Trump, who has been for years striving to expand his brand in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai's real estate sector, the hostile reactions his comments had sparked could prove to be a major setback for several iconic projects he is currently associated with, particularly with Damac Properties.
In 2014, Trump and his daughter Ivanka arrived in Dubai to promote the Trump International Golf Course-Dubai, being built along with some Trump-brand real estate in Damac Properties' Akoya development. He has made another deal for a second planned Damac golf course, called the Trump World Golf Club Dubai.
However, Damac declined to discuss whether the company was reconsidering its venture with Trump.
"We would like to stress that our agreement is with the Trump Organisation as one of the premium golf course operators in the world and as such we would not comment further on Mr Trump's personal or political agenda, nor comment on the internal American political debate scene," Niall McLoughlin, a senior vice-president at Damac, said in a statement.
"Donald Trump could be a major cause of volatility in financial markets throughout the first half of 2016," warned the boss of one of the world's largest independent financial advisory organisations.
Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, said: "Trump has been touring studios and appears to be utterly unmoved by the storm of criticism and outrage - in fact, he seems to be thriving on it. This suggests we could expect more of this kind of rhetoric from the billionaire would-be president between now and July, when the candidate is announced.
"History teaches us that politically extreme views which have dominance and a spotlight, as Trump's do, can spook investors and trigger uncertainty in financial markets. This is especially true if it takes place in globally significant economies.
"As such, Donald Trump could be a major cause of volatility in financial markets throughout the first half of 2016," Green said in a statement mailed to Khaleej Times.
"Most investors already expect 2016 to be an unsettling time for the markets and have assessed and rebalanced their portfolios to take advantage of the potential opportunities and to mitigate the risks. But an increasingly outspoken and extreme Donald Trump is making the outlook for at least the first six months of next year more opaque," Green added.
(With inputs from agencies)