At Mideast tourism forum in Dubai, a surprising name: Trump

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Tucked away behind stands at a Mideast tourism conference this week is a surprising name: Trump.

Trump Hotels, the brand bearing the last name of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, sits near luxury brands like the Armani Hotel and the Palazzo Versace at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Trump, who has long sought access to the oil-rich markets of the Middle East, has caused consternation and sparked condemnation across the region over his comments on Islam and his December proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering America.

Marcos Torres, the global sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Trump Hotels, declined to discuss any of the politics surrounding Trump.

However, Torres told The Associated Press on Tuesday that business-to-business relationships between the hotel chain and others at the conference remained strong.

“We’ve had a business-friendship with the people in this hall right now for many years. That hasn’t changed. It’s still the same,” he said. “It’s nice to just hear (that) our business partners are even encouraging. … They emphasize they will continue to keep supporting us.”

Other business relationships in the Persian Gulf have suffered in recent months for the Trump brand. In December, the Dubai-based Landmark Group said it would pull all Trump home decor products at its 180 Lifestyle stores in the region as it “values and respects the sentiments of its customers.”

Trump also has a deal with real-estate company Damac Properties to license his name and image for a housing project and two golf courses in Dubai for an undisclosed sum.


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