Hussain Sajwani, Founder & CEO, DAMAC Properties
Whenever we think of Dubai, we are immediately taken away by its royal exuberance, world-class infrastructure, and vibrant economy. The city’s expanding pipelines and a plethora of incentives and initiatives undertaken by the government have impelled many prospective investors, builders, and property developers to thrive in such a strong yet diverse economy of Dubai.
But amidst its throbbing number of entrepreneurs, there are only a handful of business experts, who could raise a storm in the world of business and achieve unparalleled success, at the global frontier.
The man who spearheaded the legacy of creating architectural marvels in Dubai by exploiting the real estate market is none other than the most esteemed business tycoon Mr. Hussain Sajwani, the Founder-Chairman of the UAE’s largest property development company, the DAMAC Group. It is through his holistic vision, foresightedness, and sheer hard work that Mr. Sajwani, has set a benchmark of excellence in craftsmanship, design, and accuracy even when working with the most difficult and complex projects. Ranked among the top-rated business entrepreneurs of UAE, Mr. Sajwani is also the richest Arab and most influential man in Dubai. Under his astute leadership, the DAMAC Group has emerged as the global leader in the property market, making headlines with its impressive portfolio across diverse sectors and nations.
A pioneer of property market expansion in Dubai, Mr. Sajwani, initially ventured into the catering and logistics business. In the mid-90s he first built hotels for the business immigrants in Dubai. But, it was around 2002 that Mr. Sajwani for the first time identified a huge market possibility in the real estate domain. Driven by an indomitable passion to build something beyond the ordinary, without much dilly-dallying Mr. Sajwani forayed into the property market and established DAMAC, which over the years has grown into a leading property development organization of the Middle East and abroad. “We work in tandem with UAE’s vision to becoming the world’s foremost trade, hospitality, and lifestyle destination”, announces the entrepreneur.
During an illustrious journey of over a thousand miles, DAMAC takes pride in its glorious feats of achievements on both national and international platforms. A man of mettle, Mr. Hussain Sajwani has proved his caliber across a wide spectrum of niche sectors including Properties, Data Centres, Retail and fashion, Hospitality, DAMAC Capital, and Logistics.
To date, the company has delivered 43,7000 homes and has handled over 30,000 development projects across 15 cities around the world including Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Beirut, Amman, Doha, Baghdad, the Maldives, Toronto, Miami, and London.
DAMAC’s flagship projects include the 50-storeyed DAMAC Towers Nine Elms, in central London, recognized by the iconic Italian fashion house VERSACE, single-family villas built in coordination with reputed American developer FL Star. Teaming with the most reputed international brands Cavalli, Versace, and De Grisogono, DAMAC Properties is on a mission to set foot on international projects, consisting of luxury apartments, Paramount Hotels & Resorts that have redefined luxury living with affordability. DAMAC Lagoons adds an ‘Ibiza’ cluster to infuse Mediterranean flair into the community.
As a natural addition to the real estate company, DAMAC Properties founded its own hotel management company to manage its chain of hotels. Today, the Company oversees eight hotel properties under the brands Radisson, Paramount, Rotana, and DAMAC Maison. Also, the Company is building a luxurious hotel resort in the Maldives, to be run and operated by Mandarin International.
With innovation and digitization crucial to the organization’s business ethos, The DAMAC Group (the parent company of DAMAC Properties) has also entered the data center industry with their breakthrough innovations at the ‘DAMAC Data Centres’. This unit proactively builds, buys, or partners to serve the next wave of demand for data center services. It is currently building such centers in Riyadh, Dammam, Turkey, and Ireland.
Making its foray into the world of luxury fashion, The DAMAC Group acquired the Italian fashion group, Roberto Cavalli SPA in 2019 and went on to acquire the Swiss luxury jewelry brand de GRISIGONO. The company would leverage these brands and innovate them for a younger clientele while preserving their global legacy and appeal.
As a perspicacious businessman and investor, Sajwani also has a proven track record in the global equity and capital markets through his private investment division. Under this strategic investment division, he currently holds portfolios of securities in several regional and global markets.
The DAMAC Group focuses on investments in private equities, mergers, and acquisitions. It holds majority and minority holdings in listed companies and industries like luxury fashion, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, and more. The group has substantial investments with top US-based fund managers such as Vista, Silverlake, Andreessen Horowitz, Brookfield, and many more.
With an estimated net worth of USD 2.7 billion and a flair for extravagant marketing of his projects, Hussain Sajwani has created a steady real estate empire out of his business.
A leader par excellence, Mr. Sajwani believes in ethical trading. With “Sustainability” at the heart of all his business endeavors, the leader aims at making lives convenient by creating a healthy and habitable society for all. DAMAC Group emphasizes sustainability from the very beginning of each project’s conception to operation and completion. The company has launched a Sustainability Program focused on the Operations and Maintenance stages of project development. Working in tandem with processes to align energy, environment, and sustainability is an ongoing process at DAMAC.
A philanthropist by heart, Mr. Hussain Sajwani believes in giving back to the community. DAMAC has always walked on the noble yet unbeaten path of empowering the youths and building an egalitarian society where all may prosper. For this, it strives to uplift underprivileged communities by addressing their financial and social needs. It has launched many programs for engaging youths, educating them, promoting employment, and helping people in distress. Some of their notable initiatives in this cause are the ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign and the ‘Fresh Slate’ aids. Launched at the start of Ramadan 2022, the ‘1 Billion Meals’ provided food for individuals and families across 50 countries. The ‘Fresh Slate’ aids detainees at Dubai’s Punitive and Correctional Institutions charged with petty offenses. As a part of their humanistic programs, DAMAC Foundation works in close association with many grassroots organizations, NGOs, and government bodies across the nation to facilitate computer and internet access for interested students.
A benevolent leader like Mr. Sajwani never feels satiated by helping a limited segment of society. He envisions a greater world where a major chunk of the populace lives a happy and successful life. Committed to helping the nation in advancing education, the DAMAC Foundation has collaborated with the Knowledge Fund Establishment to support the Dubai Schools project and provide scholarships worth AED 20 million for Emirati students. The company supports the ‘One Million Arab Coders’ Initiative’ to provide software development training to one million people across the Arab world. A scholarship program that will help Emirati students facing financial difficulties as well as a program to support young entrepreneurs with support from a trusted finance institution, is also underway.
With his insight and acumen, Mr. Hussain Sajwani has been able to build a diaspora in the real estate business of Dubai. He has been honored with a host of titles and awards for his inimitable contribution to society and his ingenious style of leadership to be followed by generations to come. The “Real Estate Business Leader of The Year” at the Gulf Business Awards, and the DAMAC Hills 2 community center won an award for Design and Development at the Retail Congress MENA 2021 added some feathers to his long list of rewards and accolades.
It is his utmost devotion to duty, unflinching faith in purpose, and relentless passion that enabled Mr. Sajwani to create a series of milestones in his career and place his organization on the highest pedestal of success and glory, to be reckoned with worldwide. His humility and love for work get reflected in his words, laced with conviction, “When you are passionate about your work, success finds you. This is something I’ve experienced over the years. It’s the passion for my business that keeps me going”, echoes the leader.