Hussain Sajwani is well known for his glitzy apartment properties where everything is high end and highly promoted. The UAE real estate mogul is at the top of his game and gradually expanding his empire.
Sajwani began his business career as a food vendor and caterer for the US Army during the first Iraq war and then successively during the conflicts that followed.
As the DAMAC owner, the company that he started in the beginning, Sajwani started in the food service business. Damac catered and provided food for the US Army during the Desert Storm wars as well, as well as in Somalia, Bosnia, and other Gulf areas. Learn more about Hussain Sajwani Family: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2016/03/01/the-donald-of-dubai-hussain-sajwani-interview/#1b049a722f15
As Sajwani puts it, with the food business a person can make millions, but with real estate in the Middle East you can make billions. And billions he has made as his real estate empire continues to grow. Amazed by some competitors who have leveraged properties in the 80 percent range he doesn’t see how many will be able to survive at those levels if the economy should sink into a slowdown.
Hussein Sajwani operates his business along the lines of three major principles. First of all, he carries no debt on land. He pays for 100 percent of the land in cash up front. That way there is never a question as to the validity of his properties. Secondly, all of the escrow accounts are independent Thirdly, cash reserves are maintained in fixed accounts or government bonds so they are safe, and so that there is a lot of liquidity.
Sajwani has a bad taste in his mouth by all of the speculation that has taken place in the region. When prices are going up it is the thing to do for many to borrow and get properties easily, but when prices plummet there is suddenly a lack of income to pay the leverage, and it can happen very fast.
With the cash reserves that Sajwani keeps, he will not be hurt in either type of situation, whether the market goes up or down. These lessons are shared with the entire Hussain Sajwani family as he prepares them all for future management positions.