Hussain Sajwani, the very successful middle eastern businessman who is well-known for his upscale business properties, started his major upswing in the food business. He claims that when the Americans were conducting Desert Storm, he was a major player in supplying them with the food service, and it branched out. Not only did he provide food services for the Allies in Iraq and Kuwait, but he also, through his company Damac Group provide food service on a large scale in Bosnia, Somalia and the Gulf.
The food service is still a part of the operations of Damac, but Sajwani is well-known for his real estate prowess as his firm is associated with many first-class, and upscale property developments many with unusual perks such as “a free Bently with every luxury apartment.”
Sajwani learned that when dealing in property, although the opportunities are great, there are always fluctuations, and the individuals who have plenty of cash are the ones who can weather the storms. The skills that he has learned in the food business have been put to good use in the real estate business as he never over-leverages his projects as the land is always paid for in cash.
He keeps cash reserves if fixed deposits, or government bonds so if the market goes south he can continue the planned construction levels of new projects.
Hussain, the DAMAC owner, a successful real estate firm in Dubai, has often stated that too much leverage can be the ruin of many investors as it can become like a sickness, too good to turn down, and then when the market goes into a lull, the leveraged positions can turn into disasters.
Hussain bases his property philosophy on three principles that have held him in good stead all the way through his real estate investment career. First, as mentioned, there are no debts at all on land. The cost for land acquisition is always paid 100% at the beginning of any project.
Secondly, he believes in independent escrow accounts with no transferring of funds from one project to another. That way, each project pays for itself. And thirdly, the cash reserves are always maintained to manage hiccups in the marketplace.
This strategy is good for the Hussain Sajwani family as it is also good for Damac.