HUSSAIN SAJWANI

Dubai 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

DAMAC combines the glamor of recognized luxury brands with its reputation for quality and reliability to introduce iconic projects in Dubai and around the world.

Hussain Sajwani
BIOGRAPHY

Hussain Sajwani graduated from the University of Washington and started his career as a contract manager in GASCO, a subsidiary of ADNOC. After a short period, he established his own business and started a catering venture. In 2002, he identified the market opportunity and established DAMAC Properties, which has grown to become one of the largest property development companies in the Middle East. Today, DAMAC Properties has several prestigious projects in key global cities. Sajwani has also served as a member of several boards including the Majan University College in Muscat, JUNO Online in New York, and Emirates Takaful Company in Abu Dhabi.

According to the Department of Economic Development, 3.8% growth is expected for 2020. How will real estate and construction capitalize on this growth?
The relationship between real estate and the economy is symbiotic. When the economy performs well, we see an uptick in real estate transactions. Conversely, a boost in investments in the property market activates other sectors of the economy. Dubai's real estate has been a vital aspect of the UAE's non-oil economy, bringing investments from all over the world. Today, Dubai is witnessing economic growth on the back of key government initiatives such as long-term visas for investors and skilled professionals, 100% foreign ownership of businesses, and the establishment of the Higher Committee for Real Estate. Consequently, these initiatives are having a positive impact on the real estate market. In November 2019, the Dubai Land Department recorded over 5,000 transactions, marking an 11-year high. Additionally, with Expo 2020 on the horizon and its projected impact on the Emirate's GDP, we are confident that the real estate market, which has been witnessing a cyclical slowdown over the last two years, will stabilize. Moreover, the government's foresight, best exemplified in the theme for 2020, which focuses on creating a growth strategy for the next five decades, reaffirms the positive long-term outlook for non-oil sectors.

As DAMAC completes its 40,000-plus units in progress, what trends will impact luxury real estate development in Dubai?
To achieve a balance between supply and demand, developers must limit new launches. At DAMAC, we are focused on projects that are already in the construction pipeline, and we have adopted this prudent strategy to ride softer market conditions and enable long-term growth. The concept of luxury real estate is changing, and today it is more about the experience of living in a holistic environment. Given this trend, the real estate sector is evolving into a service industry, in which delivering units is just the beginning of the relationship between the developer and the customer.

Dubai's boldness, when it comes to innovative construction and development models, is undeniable. How does DAMAC align with this when undertaking projects?
Dubai's majestic skyline and real estate infrastructure inspire people from all over the world. However, Dubai is evolving, and customers expect more than just great interiors and brand associations. They are looking for wholesome communities that align with their personalities, passions, and lifestyles. At DAMAC, we have been at the forefront of creating properties that align with our customers' aspirations. Our multi-million sqft, mixed-use master developments, DAMAC Hills and AKOYA, offer a glimpse of the future of luxury living. At DAMAC Hills, for example, we provide a diverse range of luxury residential villas, townhouses, and apartments to meet the different needs and desires of customers along with a plethora of community spaces, activities, and amenities for residents to enjoy. The 18-hole Trump International Golf Course Dubai, a horse stable, a 4-million sqft park, a skatepark, a tennis academy, supermarkets, and various other life-enhancing features make this community luxurious and appealing to different customer segments.

DAMAC was recognized as Property Developer of the Year by International Business Magazine. How does DAMAC Properties plan to lead the luxury real estate sector?
DAMAC has been a pioneer in introducing branded luxury residences in Dubai and around the world. We have created iconic projects in association with the world's most renowned brands such as Just Cavalli, Paramount Hotels and Resorts, and Versace Home, to name a few. Our brand promise is 'Live the Luxury,' and we have exemplified our vision by delivering over 4,000 branded residential and hotel units so far. Our approach to luxury has always aligned with the evolving aspirations of our discerning customers, and we will continue with this approach in the future.