As a boy, Hussain Sajwani worked for his father after school in the family business. He sold Parker Pens, office supplies, and various other consumer items. He worked long hours and told his father that he sure didn’t want to go into business for himself because of the long hours. He said that he would rather get a degree and become a professional, and that way he would be able to work regular hours.
He did wind up getting a scholarship to the University of Washington in the United States where he earned a degree in engineering. He then returned to his home country of Dubai where he got a job with an oil company. That didn’t last too long, however, because he soon started a catering company serving food to the US Army. It turned out to be a very successful business and it is still in operation today.
Hussain formed DAMAC in 2002, a real estate development company when the UAE decided to allow foreign nationals to immigrate to the country. He sensed that there would be a boom in real estate and he was very correct. His first project sold out before the construction of the project had even begun.
Sajwani is noted for his marketing and advertising abilities which certainly get DAMAC out in front of the crowd in a hurry in the beginning. As the DAMAC owner, he personally took an interest in every step of his new company’s progress. One of his favorite slogans was, “A New Bently With Each Apartment.”
Hussain uses very conservative business practices. He always pays cash up front for the land and then finances very little of the rest of the project, such as the construction and finishing of the project. That way he has nearly full equity in all of his holdings and there is very little chance of anyone foreclosing.
Separate accounting and bank accounts are kept for each project so that there is no comingling of money. That way if one project has problems, it does not affect the rest of the business.
To date, DAMAC has completed 19,000 apartments with an additional 44.000 in progress to some degree or another. This bodes well for the Hussain Sajwani family as the business continues to grow.