DAMAC Properties has grown from a small Dubai-based company to a real estate behemoth in a short amount of time, all thanks to its owner Hussain Sajwani. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Economics and Industrial Engineering, Sajwani returned to Dubai to begin his career as an entrepreneur.
“I firmly believe we need to be reminded of where we have been to know where we are going,” believes Sajwani. This may play a role in why one of his worst job experiences paved the way for his realization he could be much more successful operating his own business. For two years, the owner of DAMAC worked for a large corporation in the finance department where he quickly learned he was better suited for creating his own business.
Still, Sajwani has no regrets. “One lesson which that experience taught me is that the time was not wasted. It took that experience for me to realise what I like and disliked and helped me to carve my path with determination. I also learned that time is precious and should not be wasted. A day that goes by is lost forever, if it wasn’t well-spent.”
The Risk Taker
Hussain Sajwani has taken many risks to get where he is today. He was able to grow his first business while still in university. “As a risk taker, and while studying in university in the US, I sold timeshare apartments. This would later serve as capital to start my own business.”
Taking risks is a modus operandi for Sajwani, who sees this trait as a requirement for building a business. “I would like to say I take calculated risks and if I believe something has potential I will put a great amount of effort into making it happen. The fear of failure must be put aside and this has helped me to realise a lot of successes over the years.”
The business Sajwani is referring to is his first entrepreneurial venture in the catering industry in 1982. This business has since grown to serving over 150,000 meals daily in the Middle East, Africa, and the CIS. While this business was growing, Sajwani’s interest in real estate continued to grow. “My interest in real estate continued to grow, and at first, I developed small hotels, and this then funded my bigger plans to develop towers in the most prime areas of Dubai.”
A Hands-On Leader
Sajwani, the owner of DAMAC Properties, ensures he is always heavily involved with his management team and stays updated on every area of his flourishing business. He spends most of his day meeting with business partners, members of the community, and expanding his network in order to find even more ways to grow his business and has newsfeeds setup on his phone to ensure he stays up-to-date on the latest news. Still, Sajwani recognizes the need for family time to keep his life balanced.
Digital marketing and social media are areas which excite Sajwani for their ability to grow communication and create conversation between a wide variety of stakeholders, from governments, to consumers, to companies, and more. “The power of this tool is limitless and this now constitutes a major part of our marketing efforts,” notes Sajwani.
A Booming Business
Hussain Sajwani has built DAMAC Properties into a global real estate giant, expanding well beyond its home base in Dubai. The company has 2,000 employees and currently has projects across the Middle East and in the UK and Sajwani has no interest in slowing down anytime soon.