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Donald Trump, an American businessman and Republican presidential candidate who recently called for the barring of Muslim tourists and immigrants from entering the US, has been actively doing business with Muslims in the Gulf region for years.
Trump has a number of properties bearing his name in countries including the UAE, Turkey and Azerbaijan. He has products carrying his name in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, all Muslim-majority countries.
Trump’s anti-Muslim comments have caused an uproar not just in the Muslim-majority countries but globally.
Trump, who has been doing business in the region since at least 2005, also tied up with Dubai-based retailer Landmark Group in February this year to sell Trump Home décor products across its Lifestyle stores in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Landmark said on Tuesday that it had suspended the sale of Trump Home products following the Republican candidate’s anti-Muslim comments.
“As one of the most popular home decor brands in the Middle East, Lifestyle values and respects the sentiments of all 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 Sachin Mundhwa, CEO of Lifestyle, in an emailed statement.
The Trump Organisation, Trump’s holding company, has a partnership with Dubai-based developer Damac Properties. Despite Trump’s Muslim-ban comments, the developer said it will continue its partnership 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,” said Niall McLoughlin, Damac Properties’ senior vice president, in an emailed statement.
The Trump Organisation struck deals with Damac in 2013 and 2014 to operate two golf courses — the Trump International Golf Club at the developer’s Akoya by Damac development and Trump World Golf Club Dubai within its Akoya Oxygen project — both located in Dubailand.
In 2005, Trump teamed up with Dubai developer Nakheel to open the 62-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Plans were cancelled in 2011 following the real estate market crash.
Ivanka Trump, the presidential candidate’s daughter and executive vice-president of development and acquisitions at Trump Organisation, said that the company was looking at “multiple opportunities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” according to the Financial Times.
In Istanbul, Turkey, the Trump Towers bear his name. The commercial and residential towers are owned by conglomerate Ortadogu Otomotiv Ticaret A.S.
The Financial Times has reported that Trump earns $1 million-$5 million (Dh3.67 million-Dh18.36 million) per year from licensing his brand to the towers.
His brand is also licensed to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan, which is owned by Baku-based developer Garant Holding. It features 72 luxury residences and 189 hotel rooms.
The businessman also has a Trump-branded hotel under construction in Bali, Indonesia. While Indonesia is not in the Middle East, it has the world’s largest Muslim population.
Source: Sarah Algethami, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.com