UAE: Damac chief eyes US expansion despite Trump

"I would love to do that," Damac chairman Hussain Sajwani says, of the Dubai development firm's foray into "gateway cities" such as Los Angeles or New York

Damac and Trump Organization have collaborated on the former's Akoya developments in Dubai.
Damac and Trump Organization have collaborated on the former's Akoya developments in Dubai.

The chief of Dubai's Damac Properties has said he is keen to enter the American real estate market. 

Hussain Sajwani, the company's chairman, said "gateway cities" such as Los Angeles or New York are likely to be the next step for the UAE development firm. 

“Why would anyone think that our presence in London is a one-off and just to show the world we are there,” he continued. 

“After the global financial crisis, we decided not to invest further in the Middle East markets, due to political reasons.

"Instead, we shifted focus outside the region."

Damac's international portfolio includes properties in London, such as the Aykon Elms project.

Outside the UAE, Damac has worked in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and is also involved with the Lebanese and Jordanian markets. 

The chairman says such international developments, and their supporting marketing activity, such as roadshows, have boosted the firm's popularity with investors who "had never even heard of Damac before". 

“The next step could take us to gateway cities in the US — I would love to do that," he added. 

Sajwani said he is undeterred by the US real estate market, despite views expressed by Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump. 

Damac already works with The Trump Organization in Dubai through the golf courses at the former's Akoya by Damac and Akoya Oxygen projects. 

“That deal would help us create a destination of the two golf courses we are creating [in Akoya by Damac and Akoya Oxygen, respectively],” said Sajwani.

“As far as the courses are concerned, we have no doubt that the Trump Organization will make them nothing less than among the best in the world.

"I am highly impressed with what [Trump Organization] brings to the deal. I am very happy with the relationship.

“As for the politics, I’m not into it and don’t wish to be," he continued, according to Gulf News.

"Everyone is free to have his own politics and it’s got nothing to do with my business.” 

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