DAMAC owner, and one of the most successful Arab businessmen of all time, Hussain Sajwani, sat down with CNBC at the World Economic Forum to discuss China, the current state of DAMAC, and several other important issues.
Regarding China, Hussain Sajwani stated that he believes that the nation could be overdue for a period of economic slowdown, considering the fact that it had ten straight years of growth. He does not believe that that doesn’t mean the future of the Chinese economy is not promising.
He simply believes that the next few years could be a little bit slow, but that companies who are able to maintain their cashflow will be able to easily ride out this upcoming period of slowed growth and reduced opportunities.
Regarding this issue, Sajwani said, “If you have ten years of good years, you’re gonna see a few years of slowdown, and things will come back.”
Sajwani does not believe that DAMAC will be breaking into the Chinese market anytime soon due to the tough economic controls that exist in the nation. He said however, that DAMAC may one day buy some Chinese stocks in the public market, and that’s it.
However, he did say that he believes that President Trump will get a good deal done with China regarding the trade deficit. On this issue, Sajwani said, “Me knowing Mr Trump closely, I think he’s a dealmaker, uh, he’s a strong negotiator, but he’ll arrive to a deal (with China).”
On the Current State of DAMAC
Speaking about the current state of DAMAC Sajwani said that he also thinks that the next few years will be slightly difficult, especially in Dubai. He believes that Dubai is in an overbuilt situation, which will take two years to be absorbed before prices and sales go back up again.
However, Sajwani stated that he is still very optimistic about the long-term market potential in Dubai and continued success of DAMAC. Another thing that Sajwani is optimistic about is the leadership in Dubai.
He had this to say about Dubai’s leadership: “We’ve got a great leader, who-, who believes in his city, who believes in his country, and we’ve got a beautiful infrastructure.”
Sajwani believes that Dubai is an extremely resilient place and that the free market economics that are allowed to reign in the city will help to balance out any supply and demand issues that may be occurring in Dubai at the moment. He said that cycles are totally normal for the real estate market and that the city of Dubai and DAMAC will continue prosper and survive through any difficult periods.
On Investment Opportunities in London
Speaking about investment opportunities in London, Sajwani said that DAMAC has done very well in the last five or six years in the city. He said that profits for investments in the city will be down this year, but that they are still very optimistic about investing in the city.
In fact, DAMAC is building a fifty-story building in the city, which the company believes will be very successful. According to Sajwani, Brexit is still presenting a great opportunity in the city of London.
He said this about Brexit, “We see, in Brexit issues, a great opportunity, as price is gonna correct, the pound has come down really drastically, and we’re waiting for an opportunity to invest in London, and we want to go in a big way in London.”
So essentially. DAMAC owner Hussain Sajwani is still extremely optimistic about investments in the city of London. The investments that DAMAC makes in the city in the next few years could be luxury apartments, mixed use buildings, office buildings, or retail. DAMAC specializes in mixed use, luxury apartments, but the company is flexible and does other buildings as well.
On Other Markets
Sajwani started that DAMAC is looking into other markets, such as the United States. He said that there are four cities in particular that DAMAC is very interested in in North America. These cities are Miami, Boston, Toronto, and New York.
He said that DAMAC is doing a lot of research into these markets, but that a deal will most likely not be struck in the immediate future. These cities are more long-term targets for DAMAC.
On Canada and Germany
According to Sajwani, Canada, and in particularly, Toronto is a very promising real estate market. This is because Canada is accepting about 300,000-400,000 immigrants per year and many of them are ending up in Toronto.
German cities, Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin are also experiencing population swelling due to immigration. So, Sajwani believes that because of this, these cities could all be good places for his company to invest in the near future.