US billionaire removed from billboard outside construction site of Akoya project as 'Muslim ban' row escalates
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 US 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.
Damac Properties had initially said it would stand by Trump, even as another of the billionaire's Middle East partners, the Lifestyle chain of department stores, halted sales of his "Trump Home" line on Wednesday in protest at his comments.
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 Organisation 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.
Trump on Thursday postponed a planned trip to Israel amid the global backlash over his proposal. Israeli politicians and more than 370,000 Britons urged their governments on Wednesday to bar Donald Trump from their countries.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
And the gold letters were back in place on Saturday.
All very well, ripping Trump's name off everything he has sullied, but that horse has bolted and he is now financing his campaign of hate with the very money paid to him by all the silly investors he duped along the way. He is in the race to make money, lots of it, and Damac gains nothing by this overdue reaction. They fell for the flash and trash when it suited them, and now just look petulant and childish. Trumped by Trump.
Whoever has Damac's signage contract is in for a windfall, as no doubt the Trump machine insisted the contract still stood, so up went the signage again, until some clever little lawyer finds an escape clause, and down it will come again. Pity all the investors paying a premium for a Trump-branded property that is now worth half the price.