Hussain Sajwani started in business working for his father when he was a schoolboy, and oddly enough he decided that he did not want to become a businessman. The long hours of going to school and then working after school in his father’s watch shop make him want to become a professional and work regular hours.
He was educated in the United States as an engineer, and when he started a catering company in Dubai that fed the US Army during the Gulf Wars, he saw that he could not only be a successful businessman but that he could operate on a much larger scale. The catering side of Sajwani’s business empire still exists, but the kingpin of the business is in residential real estate.
When Hussain Sajwani formed his company Damac in 2002, he bought largely undeveloped property in Dubai, aggressively marketed the 30 story apartments with slogans like, “A new Bentley for each apartment.” The entire project was sold out in six months, even before any construction was begun. A large incentive was a government ruling that allowed foreigners the opportunity to come and live in Dubai, but it was in large part the effectiveness of Sajwani’s energy and marketing skills that made the difference.
The Damac owner has proven time and time again that his real estate instincts have been the prevailing influence in the success of his ventures. It is no small factor either that he always pays cash for the land for his projects, that way there is never any doubt of a project moving forward. Since there are no debts at all for any land, the Hussain Sajwani family who is all involved in the business know that there is great security in new projects with which they all become involved.
Sajwani keeps cash reserves in fixed deposits or government bonds so that if the market takes a downturn, the construction schedules can continue. Another smart strategy is to have separate accounts for each project, so no cash gets transferred from one project to another. In this way, each new development will support itself no matter what.
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