Trump at Trump International Golf Club Dubai in 2013 Photo: Trumpgolfdubai.com
Donald Trump’s name has been stripped from a Dubai resort, following his comments about banning Muslims from entering the USA, and then replaced.
The would-be Presidential candidate attracted controversy from around the world after making his comments during an interview on TV, in which he proposed preventing all Muslims from entering the country.
While the remarks may have hampered his chances of a shot at the White House, they also have ramifications for the tycoon’s real estate ventures. Indeed, Trump has signed a series of deals with Dubai developer Damac Properties. The company first partnered with the billionaire in 2013 to deliver the “Trump International Golf Course” as part of its Akoya project in Dubailand. That has been followed by a second golf course – Trump World Golf Club Dubai – set for the Akoya Oxygen project, in addition to Trump-endorsed mansions.
Niall McLoughlin, a senior vice president at Damac, told The National in September 2015 that they had enjoyed a “a huge response” to these branded properties.
“It is clear that savvy buyers are excited by these exclusive living concepts which embody the brand of such globally admired companies such as Versace, Fendi, Paramount, Trump and Bugatti,” he said.
Now, though, Trump’s name has become more toxic than attractive.
According to one Reuters photographer , Damac stripped Trump’s name and image from the golf complex. Another Middle East partner, the Lifestyle chain of department stores, are also reported to have halted sales of the “Trump Home” line.
John Brash, the chief executive of real estate branding specialists Brash Brands, tells The National that celebrity sponsorships should “add something to your brand, not overshadow it”.
“If, like Donald Trump, they split opinion or court controversy, you need to be sure your brand wants to share the ride. It’s a risk. You’ll get noticed more but also polarise people more.”
Now, though, the company has reportedly returned his name to the resort’s billboards.
“The exterior signage at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai was temporarily removed on Tuesday for a short period of time, however, the signage is back up,” the Trump Organization said in a statement .
In the meantime, Damac’s shares have been impacted by their association with Trump, but have said that it will continue to work with the billionaire, keeping his politics separate to their business.
Now, the firm is offering 24 rental return guarantees on select units to woo investors.