It’s a big jump to go from selling sandwiches to selling high rises and building golf courses. But that’s the journey Hussain Sajwani took to become one of the biggest real estate moguls in the United Arab Eremites.
In the 1980s, Sajwani got his start in business by running catering services for energy workers in Abu Dhabi. Soon he attracted bigger clients, like the U.S. Army and the construction corporation Bechtel. While successful, he did not see the sort of profits he would have liked. So Sajwani decided to expand his business dealings.
Real estate was an area the Hussain Sajwani family had done real estate dealings before, usually involving small-to-medium sized hotels. But Sajwani wanted to go bigger. In 2002, he founded DAMAC Properties. His big focus was on a new law by the UAE that allowed foreigners to own property within the country.
One of his first projects was the purchase of land in an undeveloped part of Dhubai that he turned into a 38 story residential building, in just six months time. Read more: Hussain Sajwani | Forbes
Since then, the DAMAC owner and chairman has helped oversee Dubai’s transformation into a city of luxury buildings. Sajwani’s firm has been responsible for the construction of the Casablanca Boutique Villas, AYKON City, and EVO Townhomes.
But it’s not only buildings Sajwani helped develop. He has teamed up with current U.S. President Donald Trump to build the Trump International Golf Course Dubai at the Akoya development. The course opened in 2017. Another Trump and DAMAC collaborative golf course, designed by Tiger Woods, is scheduled to open in 2018. Both men got together for a press conference shortly after Trump’s inauguration, and the new president referred to Sajwani as, “An amazing man.”
Sajwani has also been active in charitable efforts. In 2013, he donated AED two million for a campaign to purchase clothing for poor children throughout the world. It is estimated this money benefited 50,000 needy children.
Sajwani has also not forgotten his business beginnings. His original catering business is still part of DAMAC.