Middle East retail giant withdraws Donald Trump products from shelves

Lifestyle has more than 190 stores across the region

Donald Trump, Lifestyle, boycott, Landmark Group, products, Dubai

Image: Facebook/Lifestyle

One of the Middle East's largest retail firms has said it is withdrawing Donald Trump products from its shelves after he called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

The Landmark Group, based in Dubai, has an exclusive deal to sell Trump Home products - including lighting, mirrors and jewellery boxes - in their Lifestyle department stores in Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Sachin Mundhwa, chief executive of the group, said in a statement: "As one of the most popular home decor brands in the Middle East, Lifestyle values and respects the sentiments of all its customers".

"In light of the recent statements made by the presidential candidate in the US media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump Home decor range".

The group did not reveal the financial value of the contract.

Lifestyle has more than 190 stores across the Middle East, as well as in Pakistan, Libya and Tanzania.

Mr Trump drew strong criticism from Republican rivals after he called on Monday for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

'No different than that of Daesh'

The tycoon's comments were designed to capitalise on a shooting by a Muslim couple said to have become radicalised in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14 people.

Emirati business magnate Khalaf al-Habtoor, who months ago gave his support for Mr Trump as he attempts to win the Republican nomination, has said he now backs Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton.

He said: "If he comes to my office, I will not let him in. Maybe we can meet somewhere where I can debate with him in a very civilised way, not in the way he approaches people".

In a newspaper column in the state-owned The National newspaper of Abu Dhabi last month, he wrote: "I was wrong and I do not mind admitting it".

"When strength is partnered with ignorance and deceit, it produces a toxic mix threatening the United States and our world".

Mr Trump has lent his name to two high-profile Dubai golf course projects and an ongoing real estate development and has attempted to expand his hotel chain into the region.

On Tuesday, he denied a report that he was planning to visit Jordan by the end of the year. A US official told the AP news agency that the US government was making preparations for Mr Trump to visit Jordan after a request by his campaign.

Newspapers in the Emirates have criticised his comments, with the Gulf News saying his "extremism is no different than that of Daesh".

China has also waded into the row surrounding Mr Trump's proposal.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference on Wednesday: "China opposes all forms of terrorism. We uphold that the international community should make a concerted effort to fight terrorism, and at the same time we have always opposed linking terrorism to any specific ethnic group or religion".

China is home to around 20 million Muslim people and has had its own problems dealing with radicalised Islamists in the far western region of Xinjiang.

It comes after tens of thousands of people signed a petition calling for Mr Trump to be banned from entering the UK.