US President-elect Donald Trump does not “discriminate” and his global brand continues to grow stronger, a senior real estate executive in Dubai has said.
Hussain Sajwani, chairman of Damac Properties, told CNNMoney that he is glad the company stuck to its partnership with Donald Trump despite his anti-Muslim comments during his presidential campaign.
“We saw the pressure. We had a number of meetings with board and management and we took a decision that we are going to stick to our legal agreements,” he told the network.
He added: “It was a wise decision. All our business partners respect us for that. We stick to our commitments, regardless of the political, geographical or any other issues.”
Damac is currently building the $6bn Akoya development in Dubai which features an 18-hole championship golf course called the ‘Trump International Golf Club Dubai’. The project, spread across 42 million square feet, will include luxury residences, a clubhouse and restaurants.
Soon after Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the US late last year, the company’s logo was taken down from the project’s entrance. However, it was restored in a few days.
Sajwani told CNNMoney that the removal had nothing to do with Trump’s comments.
“No one will believe us. That week, we had to do maintenance on the stone work. We brought it down, and brought it back in less than 48 hours.”
The property developer also asserted that Trump’s branding would help promote sales.
“He had a strong brand – and no question in the last 12 months, his brand became stronger and more global. I think it will have a positive impact on sales,” he said.
“He’s in no way discriminative. He doesn’t discriminate against sex, religion or anything else.”
Several Middle East businessmen who earlier lashed out against Trump for his divisive remarks, have backtracked since his victory at the US elections.
Dubai businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor earlier called Trump “Islam’s biggest enemy” and urged regional businesses to cut ties with Donald Trump and his companies.
However, the chairman of the Al Habtoor Group has changed his stance and in an op-ed for Saudi publication Arab News this week said: “Hopefully, a Trump White House will surpass all expectations. He is a proven winner in business and his battle for the top job paid off.”
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who previously labeled Trump a “disgrace to the US” also congratulated him on his victory, tweeting: “Whatever the past differences, America has spoken, congratulations & best wishes for your presidency.”