Often when a person comes from humble beginnings only to rise to great success they lose sight of the lessons and convictions of their early days. This is not the case with Hussain Sajwani Chairman of the DAMC Group. He came from about as humble origins as one can come from. His father was a seller of watches and pens to the high power executives of the U.A.E. he would sit in his father’s shop from the age of 3 and watch him conduct his business. He would see his parents struggle to make ends meet at times and his mother helping out by augmenting the family income selling fabrics and household goods to the other women of their social circle. When this was not enough still his father took to dabbling in real estate as another income source, getting help and advice from the powerful men who visited his shop. It was a sideline for his father, but it was an interest that grew strong in the heart of Hussain.
When the time came for him to take his place in the world, he forewent the desires of his father to follow into the family business and instead chose a professional life. He attended a medical university in Baghdad, where he studies hard, but he didn’t feel the passion for it that he felt for real estate. He thought back to those powerful men who used to buy from his father and of the lives of comfort and influence that they had. He thought about how happy they appeared to be compared to the content, but struggling folks like his parents who were stuck in the workaday world. He decided to leave school and with the help of associates he started the first incarnation of what would eventually become the DAMAC Group. He soon found his first success by helping to provide logistical food services for the US military during Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded a simple, cheap plaque for the excellence that his firm showed in the execution of the duties they were entrusted with. To this day that basic wooden plaque still holds a place of honor in his office.
In 2002 Sajwani officially founded the current incantation of the DAMAC Group as a real estate holding a development corporation to take advantage of a governmental decree allowing foreigners to own property in the U.A.E. for the first time in over half a century. The company quickly saw overwhelming success and in just two developments alone placed over 100 million square feet of ultra-exclusive high-end residential, retail, and recreational space. In 2013 the DAMAC Group became the first middle-eastern real estate firm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Also in 2013, he joined forces with his personal friend, fellow billionaire, and future President of the United States, then international businessman and real estate mogul Donald J. Trump. The partnership would lead to the development of several projects together, most notably being two large and lavish golf courses. The TRUMP International Golf Course in Dubai is actually the largest and most opulent private golf course it the world. This facility is also the current crown jewel of the DAMAC Group and a source of personal pride for Sajwani.
Despite all of his success, Hussain Sajwani has been the exception to the rule. He has not lost sight of his personal convictions or the life lessons that he learned at an early age thanks to his humble origins. In fact, he has maintained a strong sense of duty, loyalty, respect, and service to his fellow man. He still walks a life of faith and personal responsibility that shows in everything that he, his family, and his company do.