Emirati businessman and real estate developer, Hussain Sajwani, is the founder and CEO of global leading real-estate development company, DAMAC Properties, which specializes in luxury property development and is credited with using such fashion powerhouses as Versace to design the interiors of its luxury apartments; as well as enlisting the services of Tiger Woods, who has reportedly designed golf courses that are curiously managed by Donald Trump Properties. Sajwani, who is listed as the fourth richest Arab on Forbes most recent billionaire listing, has a reported net worth of over $4 billion. Although, his DAMAC properties is one of the world’s most successful property management companies– boasting more than 40,000+ holdings globally–Sajwani’s entrepreneurial beginnings were a bit more humble.
He was born in UAE in the 1950s, as the son of a local Emirati businessman, who successfully sold items like pens, watches and other assorted Chinese-imported goods from his small shop. Sajwani, who regularly visited and observed his father at work in his shop every day as a young boy; apparently, had bigger goals and was one of the first Emiratis to be awarded a government university scholarship to study in the United States. He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Economics from the University of Washington.
Once he returned home, he first worked in the finance department, as a contracts manager at UAE public utility company, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries. However, after only working the corporate grind for a short time; Sajwani made his first foray into entrepreneurship as a food caterer, eventually establishing contracts with U.S. government and military contractors, such as Bechtel. Hussain Sajwani’s catering business is still successful today and is now called Global Logistics Services. The company has grown from its humble beginnings to currently managing more than 200 projects and serving more than 150,000 meals a day globally in the Middle East, Africa and the Russian Federation. In addition to providing meal catering to military sites, Global Logistics also provides food services to construction sites, educational institutions and five-star hotels throughout the world and also offers site management, power logistic services, and employee management.
After the success of his catering company, Sajwani turned his astute business-stewardship to luxury property development in the 1990s when it was still a relatively new concept. He was responsible for leading the charge in building several hotels in the early 2000s for the growing surge in foreign business and trade in Dubai at the time. In 2002, Sajwani founded the now hugely successful, Hussain Sajwani of DAMAC Properties, which is publicly traded on Dubai’s version of the Stock Exchange and employs more than 2,000.