New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Trump stars in Madame Tussauds Dubai branch, first in Middle East

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — In the United Arab Emirates, home to the only Trump-branded golf course in the region and rulers who for years cultivated warm ties with the former U.S. president, Donald Trump is back in the spotlight.

Not the real Trump, but wax versions of Trump and his wife, Melania. The two are some of the stars of Dubai’s new Madame Tussauds, the tourist-friendly wax statue museum known for its celebrity likenesses that ceremonial­ly opened its first Middle East branch here on Wednesday.

The lavish waxworks temple located on a small artificial island off Dubai unveiled 60 celebritie­s and leaders, from a sultry Kylie Jenner to a beaming Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with a handful of Bollywood dance stars in various dance poses.

Trump’s figure, sporting his signature red tie, is seated at a desk with the former president looking down and checking out his smartphone, while a sleek wax figure of former first lady Melania stands by his side in a cobalt blue dress.

During his presidency, Trump was considered a close friend in the capital of Abu Dhabi. Gulf Arab sheikhdoms welcomed Trump’s policies in the region, including his harder-line on Iran, as he pulled America out of Tehran’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

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