His story and inspiration start in the family shop. The mentor? His father, with all those after school talks and sharing at their Deira-based shop. “The commercial way of thinking stuck with me,” Hussain Sajwani says.
He was observant and keen to ask questions. He says there’s a time his father sold a pack of vests for ten dirhams and raised to 11 dirhams when the customer left. Why? He didn’t ask the price and bought a large quantity showed his father that there is a shortage in the market.
He has carried these lessons in building his empire. One of his key successes? “I can adapt to the market quickly,” reveals the fourth richest Arab according to Forbes 2018, and Damac Properties, the Arab’s world fourth largest public company in 2017.
“My dream is to have Damac towers in gateway cities around the world.” Aykon London already opening the way in London. Sajwani would like to see another half a dozen in other major hubs including Asia and America. More inspirations happened when he was a student of industrial engineering and economics at the University of Washington, a nation contrasting Dubai.
After 2years of working with Abu Dhabi Gas industries upon graduation, the young lion ventured out to form his own pride. His own global logistics services firm and property ventures came in handy with capital to form Damac.
The Dubai government played a part in his rise with the 2001 allowance of 99-year old leases and 2002 allowing foreigners to buy property on freehold. Damac’s pioneer project being the Marina Terrace.
Gold and silver are made through Fire. His most difficult time in business came in 2008-2009 when residential prices fell 50% from a third-quarter in the Emirates. He, however, tried to brace himself when the weekly reports came in low.
Cuts on personnel and overheads were done and consolidating lands and projects. Lifting him and dusting he from the fall was AED1b escrow money he had. “The project market is a cycle. You get three to five years of growth and then a reverse for a similar period.”