Trump's name removed from Damac billboards in Dubai

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Trumps name removed from Damac billboards in Dubai

Dubai - Images of Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka were also removed from billboards.

By Reuters

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Published: Fri 11 Dec 2015, 7:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jan 2016, 6:40 PM

A Dubai real estate firm building a $6 billion golf complex with Donald Trump on Thursday stripped the property of his name and image amid a backlash over the U.S. presidential candidate's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump triggered an international uproar when he made his comments in response to last week's deadly shootings in California by two Muslims who authorities said were radicalised.
A spokesman for DAMAC Properties, Niall McLoughlin, declined to comment on why Trump's image had been removed from a billboard outside the project construction site, along with that of his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
The AKOYA by DAMAC project will include a Trump-branded golf course, gated island community and spa. Trump is also building a second golf course, the Tiger Woods-designed Trump World Golf Club, at another DAMAC property in Dubai, AKOYA Oxygen.
An advertising billboard outside the AKOYA by DAMAC development had shown Trump in a red hat swinging a golf club against a backdrop of a lush green golf course.
By Thursday, the image had gone, a Reuters photographer said.
An adjacent photo of Trump's daughter Ivanka, an executive vice president for his Trump Organization firm, was also removed from the billboard.
Gold letters spelling out "Trump International Gold Club," affixed to a landscaped stone wall at the entrance to the project site, were also removed later in the day, according to the Reuters photographer.
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 has 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.
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.
Following is the project detail on Damac's website:
'Spanning 42 million square feet, the development is home to a variety of incredible properties, some the result of collaborations with the likes of world-renowned brands such as The Trump Organization and Paramount Hotels & Resorts. Mansions, villas and apartments all have access to world-class retail and leisure spaces, along with spectacular outdoor areas in the form of the Trump International Golf Club Dubai and The Park at AKOYA, four million square feet of lush greenery.'
US Republican presidential hopeful, Trump, on Wednesday drew a barrage of backlashes from the world as well as UAE's business and investment spectrum over his call to bar Muslims from travelling to the US.
"Total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," Trump told an audience during one of his speeches.
Earlier this week, 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.
(Additional reporting by Issac John with input from agencies)

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