Hussain Sajwani is one of the most successful property developers in the UAE. He founded, owns and chairs Damac properties and has worked his way from the ground up.
Hussain Sajwani studied in a Baghdad for a period then went on to the University of Washington in Seattle where he studied Industrial engineering and economics. By then the difference between the two countries was very stark.
He states that experiencing life in Seattle was what expanded his mind to what was possible. He also states that his father introduced him to a commercial way of thinking and unlimited ambition.
With a drive to succeed, he returned home in 1982 where he began his career working at Abu Dhabi Industries. He left the company two years later to start his own business, where he founded a catering venture, Global Logistics Services. His property ventures started in 1996 in Diera when the first three-star hotel was constructed.
In May 2002, a decree was issued that allowed foreigners to acquire properties on freehold ownership. In the same year, Mr. Sajwani founded Damac properties. He states he could not predict his company reaching such heights he saw it as a good opportunity.
Damac properties grew big and fast over the years. For this reason, when the market fell in 2008, the company took a big hit. The Damac owner acknowledges that this was a tough time for him.
He, however, outlines that this fall helps him take some good decisions in knowing what his best assets were. He also continues to say that what saved Damac is the money they had in escrow funds which were more than AED1bn.
Damac quickly got back to its feet and by December 2013, it was the first Middle Eastern real estate company to be on the list in an IPO for the London stock Exchange. Over time, Damac has paired up with popular fashion and lifestyle brands bringing great and new concepts to life.
These lifestyle brands includes a golf course designed by Tiger Woods, luxury apartments by Versace and Fendi Casa, Villas styled by Bugatti among others. Damac has also provided employment for many people.
When asked about the future, Mr. Sajwani states that his company is now looking for opportunities overseas. He says his grand vision for Damac is to have towers in gateway cities and major hubs around the world.
More on DAMAC owner Hussain Sajwani: http://www.damacproperties.com.cn/sites/default/files/documents/financial-statements/damacpropertiesdubaicopjscannualreport2015arabic.pdf