CNBC recently conducted an interview with Hussain Sajwani. He is the founder and chairman of the board of DAMAC Properties, based in Dubai. The interview was conducted at the World Economic Forum 2018 which he was attending. The interview started out talking about his strong relationship with Donald Trump. In particular he was asked if his own brand was impacted at all by this relationship.
Hussain Sajwani said that he signed a deal with Trump before he was president. He also said that the deal with Trump was for Trump’s organization to manage two golf courses that are part of two luxury property developments his own company was in the process of creating. He said one golf course is already completed and is arguably one of the best in the world. The other one will be completed towards the end of the year. He hasn’t seen any negative impact on his business in the way of sales. He said he would need to look at the numbers but he thinks property sales were actually up in 2017.
He also said that he was looking to sell a small bit of his company just so he could have more liquidity and diversity in his holdings. He wasn’t sure if that number was 5% or 15% and it all depended on market conditions and timing. He said his company is growing by about 3% to 4% a year and he expects DAMAC Properties to continue to do well. He indicated he has around 500,000 homes built and build around 10,000 more each year. He thinks supply and demand for luxury homes in the United Arab Emirates are pretty balanced.
Hussain Sajwani also said that he is looking to expand DAMAC Properties going forward. His company has strong cash flow and his balance sheet is poised for growth. He wants to expand into both Europe and North America in the next few years. He thinks London, in particular, is very attractive as the property market dropped after Brexit became a reality. He also said that the pound is in better shape than it was a few years ago which also made the UK a better investment.