When Hussain Sajwani was a young student he made a deal with himself that he would never go into business for himself. He worked many hours after school in his father’s store and said that he would get a degree and become a professional and then he would be able to work normal hours.
He did get a degree from the University of Washington in engineering in the United States, and then returned to his home country of Dubai to work for an oil and gas company there.
However, opportunity changed Hussain’s boyhood pledge and he did start his own business after all. He formed a catering company that very successfully served food to the US Army during the Gulf Wars in the countries of Kuwait and Iraq. That business is still intact today and doing very well.
In 2002, Sajwani formed a company called DAMAC, a real estate investment company that would keep the Hussain Sajwani family in a very prosperous position for sure. When the UAE government made the decision to allow foreigners the right to immigrate to the UAE, Sajwani calculated correctly that there would be a subsequent boom in real estate.
Sajwani became a master of marketing and there were not many places in the country that did not have ads and promotions that the DAMAC owner had placed. One of his favorite ad slogans was, “A Bently For Every Apartment.” Proving that good advertising works, his first project was completely sold out before he even started construction.
Sajwani also used very conservative business tactics. He always pays for the land for his projects in cash in full. That way there will never be any issue with foreclosure. He also finances very little of the rest of the building projects which helps solidify the entire investment. Each separate apartment project has its own accounting system and bank account. Should one project prove difficult from a financial standpoint, it won’t have any effect on the rest of the business.
So far, DAMAC has built 19,000 apartments with an additional 44,000 at various levels of completion. People love the luxurious apartments and resort facilities that DAMAC provides and it is a proven commodity in the country.