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Trump's name removed at Dubai development
Published in Albawaba on 12 - 12 - 2015

The image and name of American presidential hopeful Donald Trump was gone Friday from much of a Dubai golf course and housing development amid the uproar over his comments about banning Muslims from traveling to the United States.
The disappearance of Trump's branding from the multibillion-dollar development on the outskirts of Dubai comes as concerns over his comments grow in the Middle East, a region in which the businessman long has sought opportunities.
Some of his deals appear to be in jeopardy, with the company behind the Trump Towers in Istanbul now saying it is "assessing" its partnership with the Republican presidential front-runner.
In Dubai, Trump had a deal with Damac Properties to license his name and image for a housing project and two golf courses for an undisclosed sum. A billboard once showing Trump golfing had been at Damac's Akoya development, as well as an image of Trump's daughter Ivanka.
All that remained Friday was the board's brown background, though another billboard declaring the development "The Beverly Hills of Dubai" still stood nearby.
Also, pieces of letters that appeared to spell out Trump's name had been pulled down from a stone wall and left lying on the sandy ground. His name was still on at least one other stone wall at the property, which was being patrolled by private security guards and police.
Damac Properties has declined to comment on the removal of Trump's name and billboard from the property. It earlier said it "would not comment further on Mr. Trump's personal or political agenda, nor comment on the internal American political debate scene."
Damac shares have fallen in the wake of Trump's comments, losing more than 15 percent over the past week in trading on the Dubai Financial Market.
Trump increasingly has used such a licensing model in recent years, lending out his name to others around the world rather than developing big real estate projects himself. Fellow developers have praised Trump as a pioneer of what they call a nearly risk-free business.
But some of his rhetoric about Islam on the campaign trail – including his call to monitor mosques and his proposal this week to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S. – has led to increased wariness in the Arab world. Earlier this week, Dubai-based Landmark Group pulled all Trump home decor products at its 180 Lifestyle stores over his comments.
Late Thursday, Bulent Kural, the chief executive of Trump Towers building complex in Istanbul, said he would review his relationship with Trump and his company "regrets and condemns" Trump's discriminatory remarks. The towers are not owned by the real-estate mogul himself but are another project for which Trump licensed his brand.
The Istanbul Trump Towers complex, opened in 2012 at a cost of $400 million, has over 200 luxury residential apartments in the almost 40-story landmark twin towers in the Mecidiyekoy district of Istanbul.
"We regret and condemn these discriminatory comments against Muslims," said Kural in a statement quoted by Turkish media.
He said this position had been transmitted to the Trump family.
"We are examining the legal aspects of our relationship to the Trump brand," Kural added, without giving further details on what action might be taken.
He added that Trump's comments aim to "abuse our religion for small political calculations."


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