Hussain Sajwani Talks Diversity, China: The DAMAC Owner Looks to the Future


DAMAC owner Hussain Sajwani has exceeded all expectations for his business and for real estate development in Dubai – and he’s not stopping anytime soon. He’s already taken DAMAC Properties worldwide, and now he’s expanding the company’s presence abroad and taking it to new heights.


In an August 2018 interview with Arabian Business, Hussain Sajwani provides insight into the inner workings and future aspirations of DAMAC Properties, the famed property development company he founded in Dubai in 2002. The DAMAC owner has made the company a force to be reckoned with on an international scale: DAMAC has built luxury resorts, hotels, and residential complexes in its home country of the United Arab Emirates, but also in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and as far away as the United Kingdom.


Now, Hussain Sajwani is turning at least some of his focus eastward. “Asia’s continued economic growth, and specifically China’s, drives my interest,” the DAMAC owner tells Arabian Business in the August interview, which was published on the media outlet’s CEO online vertical. “[DAMAC] has been active in the Chinese market for several years, but I am now looking at extending our presence there. The value of China’s emerging middle class continues to grow and I see great opportunity to capture additional investors thanks to increased bilateral relations between the UAE and China.”


DAMAC Properties is uniquely situated among Middle East-based property development companies to expand its reach as a respected name across the globe. As Hussain Sajwani explains to Arabian Business, “We have delivered over 20,000 homes, which only a handful of developers in the Middle East have done, and I know that we can leverage this expertise to expand our presence and offering to other markets around the world.”


In addition to his international expansion of the company, the DAMAC owner is committed to keeping his company at the cutting edge of business in many other ways as well. For one, Hussain Sajwani and DAMAC Properties are committed to diversity. The DAMAC owner tells Arabian Business, “Diversity is an essential ingredient… It means we have a wealth of varying views, ideas and perspectives to tap into when developing strategic plans or when making critical business decisions. Diversity gives us range, and that is a clear advantage in business.”


Diversity isn’t just a buzzword at DAMAC, though. DAMAC Properties practices what it preaches when it comes to the topic. “[We] currently have 77 nationalities working for us, from every continent,” Hussain Sajwani states in the Arabian Business interview.


The DAMAC owner also keeps the company’s ideas fresh by embracing a more egalitarian corporate structure. “Everyone at [DAMAC] is able to contribute to the company’s growth, innovation and performance. We don’t have one central team or department that is solely responsible for this,” he explains to Arabian Business. “We have no barriers that prevent people from presenting and implementing their ideas, strategies or recommendations.  We welcome anyone who has ambition, goals and a desire to prove themselves, as such, high performers tend to shine brightly and rather quickly at [DAMAC].”


Hussain Sajwani also keeps DAMAC moving forward by staying up-to-date on new ways of connecting with prospective investors and the general public. “Both [DAMAC] and I are active on social media, across various platforms. I believe these networks have become one of the most effective marketing and communications channels for any [organization]. We use social networks to communicate our products, views, success and even advice.” DAMAC Properties is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among other social media platforms.


But while the DAMAC owner recognizes the importance of keeping up with global trends and market patterns, he is unconcerned about political turmoil and policy changes. Hussain Sajwani shrugs off his Arabian Business interviewer’s question about the possible effects of current events on DAMAC: “If global politics change the dynamics of the industry and markets we operate in, then we adapt and revise our approach to make best of the opportunities that we have, while reducing our exposure to negative policies and such.”


No matter whether you agree or disagree with his views, there’s no question that Hussain Sajwani’s approach is attracting notice. In September 2018, he was awarded the prestigious honor of Real Estate Business Leader of the Year at the Gulf Business Awards 2018. This was an especially exciting year for the DAMAC owner to win, because this was the first year when a public vote was included in the judging criteria – so Hussain Sajwani’s win demonstrated the respect he’s earned both from industry leaders and the general public.


The DAMAC owner tells Arabian Business that what he enjoys most about his work is “[seeing] a tower or a development begin its journey as a sketch or idea, and [materialize] into a home or community” and the “impact of seeing your idea take shape and turn into a dream for a homeowner.” Luxury real estate mavens and those interested in international property development – and homeowners – the world over await word of Hussain Sajwani’s next big ideas, because they are sure to be spectacular.


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