Hussain Sajwani is a Dubai real estate icon best known for reforming the property market – twice. He is the founder and chairperson of DAMAC Properties, which made a profit of over $700 million in 2017. DAMAC Properties is currently one of the largest development companies in the middle east and has survived the 2008 crisis where many other companies went under. The company has a wide reach with nearly 18,000 homes and a development portfolio of 44,000 units spread across the globe. The foresightedness and resilience of Sajwani Hussain has manifested itself in the extraordinary growth of DAMAC Properties, and his decision making ability was what kept the company afloat in the years during and after the 2008 crash.
In an interview with Ideamensch on April 5th, Sajwani recounted his rise to fortune, including what influenced him, what motivated him to succeed, what a typical day looks like and some tips for people starting out on in the real estate sector.
Sajwani says that growing up, he always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and that this spirit was kindled due to working in the family business with his father. He indicates that his early years working in the family business were instrumental to his later success. The entrepreneurial spirit stuck with him. While studying at the University of Washington, he sold time share apartments, and would use the returns to start his real estate company.
Where did DAMAC Properties Begin?
When he finished his studies in the US, Sajwani created his own catering business in Dubai, which he still owns. In 1996 his property ventures began in earnest with some small hotels in Deira. His interest in the sector grew and DAMAC Properties was founded in 2002, following a new law allowing foreigners to own 99 year property leases. Sajwani used his business acumen to take advantage of the change in the regulatory landscape and start his new real estate empire – DAMAC properties.
What Does A Typical Day Look Like?
A typical day for Hussain Sajwani involves meeting members of the management team who inform him of updates in the sector. Meeting business partners is another crucial component and he cites that influencing and expanding a network of contacts is critical. He also says he spends time with his family to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
What current Patterns Excite You?
Digital marketing and social media are areas where Hussain Sajwani has a keen interest. He is intrigued by these trends and loves the idea of dynamic and near instant dialogue between businesses and customers, governments and civilians, and companies and their employees. The power of the tool, according to Sajwani, is “limitless”.
What Habit is Most Instrumental to Your Success?
Travelling is one of the habits cited by Sajwani as most important to his success. This gives him the opportunity to see new horizons and to view things from different perspectives. He also highlights that time is precious and should never be wasted.
How Would you Advise New Entrepreneurs?
Hussain Sajwani recommends that people starting out on the path of entrepreneurship should constantly set challenges, seek to constantly evolve and always learn new things. He also states that if he did not empower his management team and give them the resources to do what they do, then his company would not be where it is today. In terms of business advice, Sajwani advocates that people invest in the property market, particularly in global cities that have a bright future.
What are the Key Things you Have Learned Over Your Career?
Sajwani considers that both success and failure made him who he is. So a failure is just another step on the path to growth and success. The other key point reiterated by Sajwani is that he always wants to grow and reinvent himself, in a never ending spiral of constant self-improvement.
Hussain Sajwani is not yet finished, and he currently has multiple ambitious plans such as building DAMAC towers in gateway cities across the world. A real estate tycoon such as Hussain Sajwani is always seeking growth, expansion, and self-improvement.
To learn more about Hussain Sajwani, visit his website: www.hussainsajwani.com/ar/about-hussain-sajwani/