DAMAC owner Hussain Sajwani has made a fortune in real estate since he first began about 20 years ago, and now going beyond the Dubai market in the UAE, he’s making an entrance into London in the UK. However, while his DAMAC Tower Nine Elms property there is being completed ahead of schedule, London’s buying market has been in a slowdown, a factor many have attributed to the Brexit vote and some of the legislation Prime Minister May have attempted to bring in to rectify the situation. Sajwani mentioned in an interview that he expected much of this to happen, and that he plans to continue the project as planned. It may not be surprising considering the DAMAC owner has worked through other real estate market crises including the 2008 global recession, and he never seems hesitant to make change when the time calls for it. He says London’s housing stock may be a little too high at the moment, but in a couple years he expects the demand to go back up.
Hussain Sajwani was born in Deira, a subsection of Dubai where his father ran a trade shop. He was quite a model student and earned acceptance to the University of Washington in Seattle where he completed his bachelor’s degree. Sajwani’s first career move was in the oil industry where he became a contracts manager, but he decided to leave that and start his own catering company. The catering venture began in 1982 but is still running as part of DAMAC’s operations today. The push into real estate began after Sajwani started amassing millions in income through the catering business and saw tourist demand for hotels increase.
Hussain Sajwani became DAMAC owner in 2002 and began his first property investment in 2003. By 2007 he had already had several buildings completed, and he also bought up other companies including a building materials supplier and ceramic tiles manufacturer. Sajwani maintained savings in escrow during the 2008 recession that enabled him to continue the company, and after coming out of the recession, his biggest project yet in DAMAC Tower was completed and it was noted for its fancy interior design.
Sajwani has made his company even more profitable over the years by taking it from private to public and having it traded on the London Stock Exchange. But he’s also been famous for partnering with the Trump Organization and having two world class golf resorts built. The now US President Donald Trump hasn’t been as quick to do new deals as he’s sought to avoid conflicts of interest as president, but the Sajwani family’s relationship with him continues to be strong.