When Hussain Sajwani was a boy, working in his father’s variety shop, he said that he would never go into business for himself. His entrepreneur father worked him many long hours after school and Sajwani said he wanted to get a degree so he could become a professional and work regular hours.
He went on to win a scholarship to the University of Washington, located in the USS where he graduated with an engineering degree. He then went back to his home country in Dubai where he went to work with an oil and gas company. It was not long however until he did found his own catering business where he was very successful as a caterer for the US Army in the Gulf War.
In 2002 he founded DAMAC Properties, Inc. a large real estate investment firm. This company has built over 19,000 apartments since then and has another 44,000 in various stages of completion. Sajwani got his start when the UAE eliminate restrictions on immigration which caused a flood of people coming into the country.
Sajwani’s first project sold out completely before the construction was even started, and the rest since then has been nothing short of spectacular. Sajwani’s marketing tactics were over the top and extremely effective. His first ads went something like, “A Bently For Each Apartment.”
Sajwani is smart about running and growing his business. He pays for the land outright in cash so that he owns the land 100%. As the sole owner of the land, no one can foreclose and force him to leave, no matter how bad things might get. Then he only finances a small portion of the building and construction costs. He keeps a reserve of cash and stores it in government bonds, one of the safest investments in the world.
Today Sajwani is one of the top 10 richest Arabs and is continuing to grow his real estate empire with many family members holding key positions in the process. One of his sons is the general manager of DAMAC and was recently recognized as one of the Future Stars by an emanate Arab Business Organization.
Follow Hussain Sajwani on Facebook.