DAMAC strips ‘Trump’ from luxury golf project

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DUBAI, Dec 10, (Agencies): 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 Trumpbranded golf course, gated island community and spa. Trump is also building a second golf course, the Tiger Woodsdesigned Trump World Golf Club, at another DAMAC property in Dubai, AKOYAOxygen. 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. 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.

Meanwhile, Trump said Thursday he should be thanked for investing in Scotland, after the country ditched him as a business ambassador and a university revoked his honorary degree. The Republican frontrunner said British politicians were “pandering to political correctness” after they queued up to denounce him over his latest outspoken remarks. Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States after the mass shooting in California by a Muslim couple said to have been radicalised.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revoked his membership of the GlobalScot business network, saying he was no longer fit to act as a business ambassador for Scotland. Meanwhile Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, on the northeast Scottish coast, revoked the doctorate of business administration he was awarded in 2010. Trump, whose mother was a Scot, owns two golf courses in Scotland — one outside Aberdeen and Trump Turnberry on the southwest coast.

The tycoon told The Press and Journal, a Scottish regional newspaper, that he should be thanked instead of being castigated. “I have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world,” the 69-year-old said. “Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry resort. “If they — Nicola Sturgeon and RGU — were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million ($300 million, 275 million euro) development, which will totally revitalise that vast region of Scotland.

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