One of Donald Trump’s Muslim business partners is drawing a line between the presidential candidate and his company.
Damac Properties Dubai Co., which is building two Trump- branded golf courses outside of Dubai, distanced itself from the developer, who said Monday the U.S. should ban Muslims from entering the country in the wake of a mass shooting that officials say was an act of terrorism by a radicalized Muslim couple.
“We would like to stress that our agreement is with the Trump Organization as one of the premium golf course operators in the world ,” Damac said in a statement. “As such, we would not comment further on Mr. Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor comment on the internal American political debate scene.”
Trump’s comments will put pressure on executives in the Middle East to decide whether they can do business with the New York property mogul, who licenses his name for use in projects around the world. His website touts an office and residential development in Istanbul, and retailers in the United Arab Emirates sell Trump-branded home furnishings and furniture.
Some executives began speaking out against him even before this week’s controversy. Billionaire Khalaf Al Habtoor, who described Trump as “a breath of fresh air among usual suspects” in August, retracted his comments. “I was wrong about Donald Trump and I don’t mind admitting it,” the Dubai owner of hotels wrote in The National newspaper on Nov. 25.
The Republican candidate and his daughter Ivanka flew to Dubai last year and drove miles outside the city to a stretch of the desert that will be the site of Trump International Golf Club Dubai, which he declared will become one of the best golf courses in the world. Next to him stood the chairman of Damac, Hussain Sajwani, clad in a traditional Arab robe.
The 104 mansions around an 18-hole golf course marks Trump’s second attempt to enter Dubai’s property market. An earlier residential and hotel tower planned with Nakheel PJSC was canceled in 2011 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Damac also is working on a second course with Trump, this one to be designed by Tiger Woods.
“I was here before and I’m here now and I’m liking it better now than ever before,” Trump told a room full of people in Dubai during his 2014 visit. “I think Dubai has an unbelievable, unbelievable upside. Maybe the best that I see, anywhere in the world.”
This article was written by Zainab Fattah from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.