The community living

The rise of community living and other emerging consumer trends in real estate

Consumer experience is a term that has certainly grown in importance across sectors as organisations look more towards a holistic approach of delivering optimal service. In a consumer-centric market like real estate, providing excellent customer service is critical to increasing customer loyalty and retention, managing your image, and developing your real estate brand. 

When an industry changes over time, so do its customers. Back in the early days of real estate, the industry believed in producing a product with little consumer-relevant features and no regard for customer preference, retention, or loyalty as the needs of the consumers were limited to having a roof over their heads and investing in properties required big financial commitment. The focus on marketing efforts was minimal, with no goal of generating value for the customer. 

Evolving industry 

Howeverincreased urban migration, smaller families and higher demand for more affordable residences, have all aided in the creation of the modern real estate market that exists today. Active forays into realty by established organisations and the appeal of private equity investment in real estate ventures have started to organise the market over time into a professionally focused and controlled sector with an emphasis on customer experience and satisfaction. 

Yet, it is still an evolving industry with ready, matured, and experienced consumers hunting for value in the real estate they want to buy or invest in. Here are a few of the consumer evolving needs that are shaping the sector: 

Community livingThe modern consumer craves convenience, evidenced by the soaring demand for properties near retail centres. This has traditionally made city-centre living in high demand. However, as more communities based in the suburbs provide everything residents need within a short distance, the need to be living in city centres is becoming less necessary.  

Community living offers a variety of benefits and has become particularly crucial in our pandemic-struck age where residents are often confined to their homes or immediate neighbourhoods, either by the authorities or by the fact that going out could simply be dangerous.  The community also plays an important role in good health, and interaction and communal spaces to meet are crucial to people’s mental health and well-being.  

For example, DAMAC Hills and AKOYA are some of the most soughtafter communities in Dubai. DAMAC Hills offers unique attractions such as A La Carte Villas and branded residences, high-end retail options, a top international school and a myriad of family entertainment and sport facilities, while AKOYA offers the perfect refuge for relaxation, shopping and entertainment with its large green areasparks, fountains, landscaped gardens, swimming pools and a retail centre. 

Affordability: Following Covid-19, many people lost their jobs or had their wages cut due to the economic crunch that occurred. This made people more fiscally responsible, and they started to be more cautious spenders so that they could be better prepared should such a market shock happen again. Additionally, as work-from-home was introduced and proved to be effective in many companies, there could be a more permanent move towards this model in the future. This could mean that people opt for more affordable housing in the suburbs, away from the city centre. As people do not have to worry about commuting to work, the proximity of their homes to their workplace no longer becomes a factor.  

Co-living:Sharing has emerged as the latest globaltrend. Customers, especially millennials, are increasingly drawn to temporary living spaces as their tastes and desires change. This has resulted in the introduction of concepts such as co-living — a movement that is gaining momentum, especially in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is high 

Digitisation:New tech-savvy generations have become accustomed and expect personalised and streamlined experiences. To satisfy their needs and requirements, it becomes imperative to utilise technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, social media, and data analytics. For instance, the advent of immersive technologies has revolutionised several industry sectors, and real estate is no exception. For example, Chatbots provide 24/7 service, elevating customer experience, as buyers can automatically receive information that matches their queries. 

Personalisation: Many consumer experiences benefit from personalisation. Technology has advanced drastically in the past few years, which has led to targeted and digitally led marketing campaigns that record, match and predict consumer preferences and likes. At DAMAC, we caught on to the need for personalisation among our clientele by introducing the ‘A La Carte Villas’ at DAMAC Hills in early 2020. The concept enables buyers to personalise multiple aspects of their homes including villa type, layout, landscaping, interiors, and furnishings, among others, using DAMAC’s cutting-edge configuration app. 

Improving lives 

The market is adapting to consumers as the world around them changes. To successfully respond to evolving demands and tap into new customer preferencesreal estate entities must first understand and closely study changes in consumer behaviour and the reasons behind it. The fundamental goal of real estate must be to improve the lives of people. That means creating fulfilling, enriching, and sustainable ways for residents to live, work and play. 

Embracing change may not be easy, but it is essential

If the past year has taught us one thing, it is to be open to change. The effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic have ushered in drastic changes to how businesses and people operate. More companies are adopting the work-from-home model and consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping. People are often resistant to change, but what is important for them to understand is that change, itself, is constant. 

When companies adapt, innovate and create a culture of change, they enable growth and transformation. Effective businesses are those who take a close look at themselves and explore ways to work smarter, increase productivity and as a result, accelerate growth. By innovating and adapting, you can strengthen your organisation and look at challenges as an opportunity to move forward. So, how does openness to change help keep us ahead? 

Innovation key to survival 

One of the key takeaways from accepting change is that it pushes you towards making decisions that will define your future. Businesses who fail to innovate will find it difficult to cope with changing times. The mistake that successful businesses often make is the false notion that they will stay on top forever, which blinds them to the evolving world around them. 

A perfect example of this is what happened to Blockbuster. In fact, many young readers might not have even heard of this company. The home movie and video game rental services giant, Blockbuster Video, was founded in 1985 and arguably one of the most iconic brands in the video rental space.  At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide and had 9,094 stores. Unable to transition towards a digital model, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. In 2000, Netflix approached Blockbuster with an offer to sell their company to Blockbuster for US$50 million. The Blockbuster CEO, was not interested in the offer because he thought it was a “very small niche business” and it was losing money at the time. As of July 2017, Netflix had 103.95 million subscribers worldwide and a revenue of US$8.8bn. 

At DAMAC, we immediately recognised and embraced the changing trends caused by the pandemic. We did not resist them. First and foremost, we quickly fast-tracked our ongoing emphasis on digitisation. We adopted video calling to hold regular meetings with our agents, stakeholders and customers. We made virtual home tours available for our clients, so that they could view and buy properties, without ever having to travel or step foot in the country. Because we were quick on our feet, we were better able to absorb market shocks and make progress on ongoing projects, such as awarding the main contract to start work on ZADA, a 26-storey building in Business Bay, the topping up of Tower B in our AYKON City and pushing forward with our DAMAC Tower Nine Elms in London. 

Personal growth 

Another important aspect of change is how it effects our personal growth. When confronted with change, we can either allow fear to take over and hold us back from accomplishing our goals, or we can face the fear head-on and challenge ourselves to take a chance on something we had never considered, improve upon our skills or even learn a new skill set altogether. 

While the pandemic has resulted in a wave of isolation and economic uncertainty, many people have allowed their mental health to deteriorate. While some have adopted destructive coping habits, others have used the opportunity as a chance to grow. 

For many who lost jobs, it has pushed them to pursue a higher education or start a business around a passion of theirs, that they were too afraid to do. For others, the economic slowdown has led to lifestyle downsizing, which many describe as a blessing in disguise. They were able to detach themselves from many unnecessary worldly possessions and focus more on the important things, such as spending quality time with family and staying in touch with loved ones. 

My father, DAMAC Chairman Hussain Sajwani, always instilled in me and my siblings the drive to better ourselves. Every company goes through ups and downs. When we were going through ups, our father never let us become complacent or lazy, but instead challenged us to take on more responsibility and encouraged us to search for inspiration from any possible source. When we are equipped with advanced knowledge and skill sets, we are better prepared to confront challenges and to endure through the inevitable downs.   

Revealing inner strengths 

I was fortunate enough to have the support of my father to help me understand the intricacies of real estate and business, while my mother helped me maintain a balanced life. 

From doing my master’s from the London School of Economics to taking on responsibilities at DAMAC, to balancing a home life I was taught to always better myself, never be complacent and to face challenges directly. 

When challenged, you discover new things about yourself and hidden strengths. 

As a result, this boosts your self-esteem and self-confidence, which helps you trust in yourself to accomplish goals and step out of your comfort zone. Change is always scary, but it is inevitable. The quicker we are to embrace this, the better prepared we will be to face any challenge.

Source: Gulf Property 

Three important future trends to look out for in 2021

When we reflect on the impact 2020 has had on our industries, we are quick to reference the role the pandemic has played in triggering a much broader adoption of new practices and approaches. 

From focusing on sustainability, to new methods of using technology and addressing challenges, the past year has prompted us to think more deeply about the kind of organisations we want to create for the future. 

Focus on sustainability
The significance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) agendas for both stakeholders and investors became more apparent over the past year, and its long-term importance is undeniable. According to the World Economic Forum, in the first four months of 2020, investors poured a record $12.2bn into ESG funds. 

Businesses with dynamic management strategies, dedication to ESG priorities and institutional agility are expected to emerge as primary winners of this shifting landscape. The rising importance of the ESG agenda has also led companies to focus on sustainability to deal with pressing challenges. 

In the Gulf, we have seen a flurry of initiatives that encourage sustainability, including the production and use of renewable energy, encouraging investment in the green economy and raising the environmental efficiency of infrastructure projects, among others. As Gulf countries have an abundance of sun, solar power is naturally the way of the future. While the drive to expand this sector is largely driven by commercial considerations – it is now cheaper than burning oil and, in some cases, than developing gas reserves – there is an increasing awareness among citizens of the importance of preserving the environment for future generations. 

The UAE, particularly, has taken significant steps to become a global hub and a successful model of the new green economy. The UAE National Energy Plan 2050 aims for medium to long-term decarbonisation and sustainable development. 

In line with this plan, the government has invested heavily in developing solar energy resources, which in turn has led to a continued reduction in tariffs for solar photovoltaic energy, which dropped to Dhs4.97 fils/kWh ($1.35 cents/kWh) in a recent announcement in the UAE capital. 

Looking inwards
The past year has also seen countries look inwards for economic growth, highlighting a shift towards deglobalisation. Factors that promote globalisation – such as an open society, the affluence of consumers, a consistent supply and demand for energy, and a functioning global supply chain – are all at stake. 

One of the leading factors of this trend is the protectionist barriers that have been erected worldwide. Initiatives such as America-first had a ripple effect across the globe as many countries adopted similar protectionist measures. 

Another important factor behind today’s deglobalisation trend is the fraying of global value chains, which itself is the result of China’s transformation from a small export-driven economy into a much larger economy more reliant on domestic demand. We are even seeing changes in the Gulf. As countries try to diversify their economies, we are seeing more self-production and manufacturing. 

While self-sufficiency is important and these trends will only make Gulf countries stronger, we must not lose sight of the importance of multilateral and global cooperation. The UAE has really excelled at this. With its soft diplomacy and international outreach, it has formed lasting relationships with dozens of countries worldwide. 

Technology to aid
2020 has further demonstrated the importance of digital readiness, which allowed businesses to continue operating during the pandemic. Building the necessary infrastructure to support a digitised world and stay current in the latest technology will be essential for any business or country to remain competitive in a post-Covid-19 world. 

We have seen numerous tech-based innovations in 2020 that have allowed us to work remotely, enabled drug development using AI and even helped e-commerce explode. In 2020, it was estimated that global e-commerce sales reached $4.2 trillion and the GCC e-commerce sector grew by 600 per cent. 

Looking locally, as part of the UAE’s 50-year Development Plan, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology has said that it is working to establish a regulatory infrastructure capable of enabling and stimulating the utilisation of innovations and technologies of the fourth industrial age to drive the growth of the sector. 

Key takeaways
The challenges of the past year have given the global economy an unprecedented reality check. It also exposed structural weaknesses in institutions and highlighted the need for reform in some sectors. We need to understand there might be even more daunting days ahead for us, but we should recognise it as an opportunity to build a more sustainable and inclusive future. 

Countries need to tackle vulnerabilities in their economies, embrace innovation and move towards a more digital future. I am happy to live in a country that recognises the importance of these actions and is leading by example to offer the future generation a better tomorrow. 

Amira Sajwani is a Senior Vice President at DAMAC Properties 

Source: Gulf Business & Arabian Business Arabic

Building a Better Tomorrow Through Gender Equality

Thanks to the passionate, brave, and relentless efforts of women worldwide, there has been a transformative shift in favour of gender equality in recent yearsWomen today have access to great education and employment opportunities, while many have made a name for themselves taking up leadership roles. Women now not only have a say in matters of public interest, but they have evolved into world leaders whose voices truly matter.  

But in some nations, the challenges associated with women empowerment remain one of the visible impediments to inclusive equality for women. The more inclusivity and sense of belonging that is rendered out to women, better has been the overall growth of any given nation. History has proved this fact time and time again, with the UAE being a classic example of how this holds true 

UAE: A Step Ahead 

The UAE has unwaveringly championed for the rights of women for decades. Efforts put in by our wise leadership towards women empowerment have seen women actively participating in all sectors, and the significant contribution of women is thoroughly encouraged, hailed and applauded. Through education, the UAE has left no stone unturned to nurture and empower young minds to actively partake in all programmes that support national development, and their presence is felt, rightfully so.  

The recent landmark legislation substantiating equal pay for men and women in the UAE, as decreed by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, is not only a reality, but is yet another achievement in the nation’s continuous efforts towards empowering women. As rightly stated by H.H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, it is a crucial step in safeguarding gender balance in the UAE. The law not only calls for equal wages to be paid to men and women carrying out the same kind of work, but it also demands more women be employed in the private sector. In a historical milestone, the UAE celebrated International Equal Pay Day for the first time ever on September 18. It is an honour and achievement for activists and advocates whose unfaltering perseverance towards attaining this right is finally seeing the light of day 

Bridging the Gap 

Not only is the need for gender equality socially, culturally and ethically essential,  it is also economically advantageous. According to a McKinsey report, advancing women equality in the workplace could add $12 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. The report further states that gender-diverse companies financially outperform others by 15%, with ethnically diverse businesses reaching a 35% increase in profits. 

Any individual who is appreciated and deservingly rewarded for the work they do will only be more motivated to perform. Companies and organisations need to recognise women leadership and how their opinions can bring about positive reforms. Gender diversity has also been proven to enhance workplace productivity and profitability. Companies need only to allocate equal work and pay opportunities for women, and they will see their bottom-line improve. 

Parity of Income 

Regarding sustainable growth, the socio-economic status of women needs to improve. Poverty is often directly proportional to low income, and persistent disparity in the wages of women has far-reaching consequences. For single mothers, equal pay would not only mean a better life for the mother, but also for her childrenand society, as a whole, will be better off.  

According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, a 16 per cent disparity is still prevalent between the wages of men and women holding the same educational qualifications, who work the same number of hours for the same kind of work, which is alarming. Because of this disparity, when global crises strike, women are always hit harderFor example, as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank has estimated that 150 million people could fall under the poverty line this year, and women, who are generally underpaid, would bear the brunt of this calamity   

What you can do 

The sooner we tackle the issue of gender inequality — especially in terms of equal pay and opportunity — the betterEvery nation should, therefore, encourage and involve women in the developmental activities of their society, and companies should bring more women leaders onboard. Individually, we all have a role to play to achieve this. We must stay informed on the issue and raise awareness in the home and workplace through healthy discussion and debate. A better future for all is just around the corner. Let’s be part of the change. 

As the world transforms, so must the real estate industry

The world is evolving more quickly than ever before. Several megatrends are shaking up the real estate industry, including the rise of the world’s urban population, which has made the need for housing as well as social, transport and utility infrastructure even more pertinent. Met with such obstacles, the real estate industry is almost under a moral duty to transform itself. 

The sector’s evolution will have transformative effects on the larger community, by lowering construction costs; on the climate, by improving the use of limited resources or by making buildings more eco-efficient over time, and on the economy, by narrowing the global infrastructure gap and stimulating economic growth in general. 

The real estate industry is affected by trends in four domains: markets and consumers, sustainability and resilience, society and workforce, and regulation. The industry needs to recognise and execute optimal solutions to these developments, both in terms of the possibilities they present and in terms of the challenges they face. 

Consumer trends 

As demand in real estate rises, the industry must identify how to best benefit from technological advances and high standards, while considering local market conditions. The convergence of webcloud and mobile platforms, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), has drastically helped enhance the customer and agent experience as well.  

DAMAC has always catered to customer needs. Earlier this year, we introduced the ‘A La Carte Villas’, which enables buyers to personalise multiple aspects of their homes, including villa type, layout, landscaping, interiors, and furnishings, among others. We also launched the ‘DAMAC Living’ app, that allows users to make payments, schedule handovers, access discounted home services and make amenity bookings. 


Sustainability is rapidly becoming a necessity rather than just a desired feature, and its pursuit is bound to impact both the building process and the built asset itself. The more effective use and recycling of raw materials, even of the smallest quantity, provides possible benefits to the real estate industry. 

At DAMAC, we’ve integrated green spaces within our communities and have incorporated sustainability measures in the construction and maintenance of our properties. We were one of the first companies to receive a green building certification in Dubai, and we will continue to incorporate best practices that will go a long way in making a big difference in our local communities, society and environment. 

Workforce trends 

According to a report by the United Nations, the world’s urban population is expected to exceed 6 billion by 2045, while there has been a marked shift in workforce trends, with the work-from-home trend set to continue into the foreseeable future. Furthermore, recent events like the pandemic have made the real estate industry concerned with the health and safety of the tenants of their property. Public health authorities could gradually amend building codes to minimise the risk of future pandemics, potentially affecting requirements for HVAC, square footage per person, and the amount of enclosed space. Health and productivity are closely linked to the quality of the indoor environment, and that quality is primarily determined by decisions made during project development and construction. 

A further challenge facing the industry concerns the rights and needs of local communities. DAMAC’s success is based on its ability to identify long-term market requirements and community needs while offering real estate developments that are in demand, have excellent ROI and meet the shifting preference for all lifestyle-driven residences. Understandably, DAMAC has in its collection intricately designed real estate, both in office space as well as communities, each catering to the needs of the modern-day office goer or entrepreneur. Flexible floor planning, a range of facilities to encourage a good work-life balance, including restaurants and cafés, health clubs and wide-open spaces are just a few of the standout features of DAMAC projects. 

Regulatory trends 

Regulation impacts many aspects of the engineering and construction industry. In a global survey by KPMG, regulation was identified as a critical driver for real estate growth. The real estate sector is significantly affected by changes in health and safety requirements, financial and labour legislation, and environmental standards. New regulations in any of these areas can affect business operations adversely, as developers would have to take on the added cost of adherence to them. But with that said, without regulation, we cannot keep the real estate industry in check.  

Luckily in the UAE, we have a robust regulatory system in place. While there are a few more areas that the authorities can improve upon, like regulating supply vs demand, the comprehensive regulatory environment in the country has boosted investor confidence by increasing transparency and clarity in the real estate sector. 

With the rapidity of transformation that we are experiencing as a society, if individuals and businesses do not adapt to our current reality, they will be left behind, and it will be a daunting task to keep up with the changes. As technology-enabled transition is imperative, modern human innovation would be the driving force for effective adoption to move the business forward. 

UAE property market recovery ‘will be a long one’: DAMAC’s Amira Sajwani

The UAE’s property sector could get a boost from positive news on the COVID-19 rollout and the World Expo event in 2021, but it may take a year or two for the market to bounce back and return to pre-crisis levels, a top executive told Zawya.

The market for apartments, villas and commercial spaces in the UAE has been lacklustre over the past several months due to the economic challenges resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. It suffered the biggest blow at the outset of the health crisis as economies worldwide shut down.

With the reopening and easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the uptake of homes has picked up recently, but rents and sale prices are still lower than the levels seen before the outbreak. At the same time, developers have opted to forgo new project launches, which has somewhat addressed the huge supply glut of homes.

“Property prices have dropped, and we are expecting further declines over the final quarter of 2020 and into 2021, with the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19 and a likely reduction in the UAE population, both key drivers of Dubai residential prices, set to hamper market performance,” Amira Sajwani, Senior Vice President at DAMAC, said.

Sajwani noted that several analysts have begun reporting hints of a market recovery. “However, I believe it will be a long one, perhaps 12 to 24 months,” she added.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the whole of next year will be turbulent for the real estate sector in the UAE.


“While there will be challenges in the coming year, there are a lot of positive developments that point to increased activity. I cannot predict an exact moment when this will happen because there are several fluctuating developments and factors. I do think, however, with [the COVID-19 vaccine rollout], this could mean more people will be travelling and there will be an acceleration of tourism,” Sajwani said.

“With more visitors coming to Dubai and Expo 2020 fast approaching, I predict an uptick in sales activity and transactions in the real estate market,” she added.

Sajwani pointed out that Dubai saw a “notable” increase in property transactions during the third quarter of 2020, building on the momentum seen in the second quarter, when restrictions begun to ease. The stay-at-home and social distancing trend has fuelled the demand for residential units with private outdoor spaces. “So, while some property sales have seen drops, others have seen upticks.”


Given the massive changes brought about by COVID-19 in the way corporates do their business, firms like DAMAC have decided to scale up digital initiatives to attract and connect customers, particularly those based overseas who cannot travel to the UAE. Despite the mobility restrictions, homes around the UAE still managed to attract some buyers.

“We are adapting to these changing trends and are doubling down on our [digitisation efforts] to optimise our performance amid these market conditions […] Through our virtual home tours, we have been able to sell homes without our customers even stepping foot in the UAE,” Sajwani said.

At the moment, however, new project launches aren’t at the top of the priority list. The developer is instead expediting the completion of its remaining inventory, optimising operational costs and focusing on cash collections.

In recent months, it has awarded a contract worth 181 million UAE dirhams ($49.2 million) for the main construction works in the developer’s ZADA Tower in Business Bay. It has also topped up Tower B of its AYKON City project in the Shaikh Zayed Road/Dubai Canal area.

The Dubai-based developer has property projects outside the emirate, reaching as far afield as Beirut, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Toronto. Its international arm, The DICO Group, is currently looking to expand its portfolio, with a focus on the UK and other European markets. Recently, it acquired the Italian luxury brand Roberto Cavalli.

The developer’s customer base consists of buyers outside the GCC region, particularly India, the United Kingdom and neighbouring Arab countries. Recently, it has seen growing interest coming from Chinese nationals.

“We are persevering during these challenging times the market is facing and recording important progress as we focus on deliveries and continue construction projects […] Through hard work and a forward-thinking team, we are continuously striving to operate more efficiently,” said Sajwani

Source: Zawya

Women are increasingly working in real estate. Here’s why that is a good thing

Traditionally, the real estate sector has been considered to be a male-dominated industry, and this perception, while far from reality, is still persistent around the world. However, things are different in the UAE, where women are increasingly playing a crucial role in every aspect of the real estate industry.

At DAMAC, more than 30% of our current work force is female — a statistic we are immensely proud of and that is steadily increasing. In fact, we are seeing more and more women viewing real estate as a viable employment option, which is ideal for an industry that is growing rapidly. We genuinely believe that a gender-balanced workplace strengthens team dynamics, improves productivity, and promotes a culture of innovation. The rise of female participation in the UAE’s real estate sector, among other industries, reflects the country’s undivided focus on inclusive growth, and recognises the contribution of women towards the national economy.

Women prospering in the UAE

As per the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2020, the UAE has ranked first in the Arab world, which is a remarkable achievement. Today, women contribute nearly 44% to the UAE’s economy and have made a notable impact across industries. The country has made tremendous progress in terms of women occupying key roles such as legislators, senior officials, and managers in both the public and private sectors. With more than 66% of graduates from the UAE’s public universities being women, we have an extremely high female literacy rate of 95.8%. This is nearly 20 per cent higher than the global female literacy rate, which according to the Oxford Internet Institute is 77%.

Adding that to the newly announced decree for equal pay, the UAE is working hard to level the playing field for women to participate in the growth and prosperity of the nation. The recognition of women as key contributors to the real estate sector as buyers, investors, employees, and leaders is an important aspect that will contribute to the sector’s sustainable growth.

Why women are thriving in real estate sector

On the supply side, women are transforming the real estate industry as professionals, agents and leaders. Today, businesses across sectors recognise the advantages of employing a more gender-balanced workforce.  I see this as especially true in the real estate industry as women bring a unique set of skills that make them especially fit for this profession. Inherent attributes such as active networking skills, the ability to quickly gain local expertise, multi-tasking and strong negotiation skills make women ideal for leadership roles in the real estate industry. Their innate persistence and empathy also make them good at managing professional relationships.

Women increasingly becoming decision-makers

On the demand side, women have always been  a primary influencer when it comes to home-buying decisions. Today, with more women entering the workforce and seeking financial independence, they are transforming from primary influencers to primary decision-makers. Therefore, for a real estate developer, it is imperative to create products that work for women buyers, offer payment plans that suit their needs, and market in a way that appeals to them. Having a gender-balanced workforce and encouraging female participation across all functions of real estate enables developers to have a broader perspective and a better understanding of the needs and aspirations of their female customer base.

Women in workforce: Good for business and innovation

Gender diversity, while often seen as merely the ‘right’ thing to do, should be looked at from a business point of view. Hiring more women in different positions is not just about protecting their rights or providing equal opportunity; it is also great for business. Economists are repeatedly saying that gender parity leads to larger returns in financial markets. Apart from this, having equal participation of men and women in an organisation brings about innovative thinking, diverse viewpoints and creative problem solving, aspects that are critical for long-term success.


Fostering Positivity in Challenging Times

The Covid-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways we could never have predicted, from working remotely, to feeling trapped indoors and other unprecedented changes to our daily lives. These sudden, rapid changes in the way we live, coupled with uncertainty, can feel overwhelming at times. But, through conscious effort and continuous mindfulness, we can overcome this. Research over the years has shown us that there is a direct correlation between our health and optimism.

So, how should companies respond in such a trying environment and what can be done to foster positivity?



In times of crisis, it is a general tendency for organisations to pull back on their vision and focus on the fundamentals of business and profitability. It is at this very moment that companies need to take a step back and remind themselves of their guiding principles, instead of narrowing their attention. Companies that thrive are those that take a calculated and purposeful decisions that cover a wide array of factors, such as the well-being of employees, strategy and overall vision.

Within an organisation, disorganisation could spark fear. This distracts employees from achieving their goals and pushing the company forward. It is important that when suggesting and implementing new approaches to business, constant communication is key to make sure everyone is engaged and committed.

Employees want to feel their work matters and getting them involved in business strategy, could help staff who are working remotely feel more connected, included and valued.


Boosting trust

Companies also need to increase their trust in their employees. This brings about positive outcomes such as improved job satisfaction and better performance. Stress levels also appear to be lower in companies that trust more and individuals are generally happier. These are important statistics to consider amid the rise in pandemic-related anxiety relating to job loss and pay cuts.

Ultimately, providing a clear vision and building trust with your employees will lead to a more focused, efficient and happier workplace.


Empower employees

Nothing says you care about your employees like giving them an opportunity to grow and learn. There might be extended periods of non-productivity due to business slow down during this period. You can make it work to your advantage by allowing and even encouraging your employees to take up new skills. Upskilling has a strong positive influence on employee involvement and social capital retention, all of which increase efficiency.

There are endless ways to upskill. Strategies such as peer mentoring and in-house skills sessions, advanced and technology-related courses and the use of augmented reality and virtual reality are not only effective, but are also future-proof.


Emotional wellbeing

In the best of times, morale is vital, but now it is even more critical. You will need to focus on making emotional wellbeing a priority in your organisation. While success will not be instantly evident, you will start to notice the effects it has on your employees and, in turn, on your business in the long run.

Practicing empathy in the company will go a long way. The pandemic has affected people in many ways, someone could have lost a loved one, or not been able to travel to see their families, or being experience economic strains.

Companies should be mindful and understanding, during these unprecedented times and react with empathy rather than anger, if confronted with a mistake or delay. While it is important to set and expect high standards for quality of work, there is always room for an empathetic approach and your employees will appreciate it.

The choices that an organisation makes today will determine how your business is perceived for years to come. Being vigilant in our vision, strategy and approach amid this pandemic should be a priority for us all. At times of uncertainty, staying calm and optimistic will help us get through challenges and, ultimately, make us more resilient.

-This article appeared in AlRoeya and Khaleej Times

CW Expert Interview | Amira Sajwani on DAMAC’s projects and pipeline

In this latest episode of Construction Week’s Expert Interview series, the senior vice president – Operations at DAMAC Properties, Amira Sajwani, talks to CW’s deputy editor, Anup Oommen, about DAMAC’s ongoing projects, its plans for 2021, and the changing trends in the construction industry.

DAMAC has been constructing through COVID-19 and developing projects across Dubai — from Business Bay all the way to the Dubailand area — including at its master-planned projects such as the 42 million square foot DAMAC Hills community, as well as at its separate projects such as Aykon Heights on Sheikh Zayed Road and the 26-storey Zada project in Business Bay.

“We have two major master-developments,” Amira Sajwani says. “Firstly, we have the DAMAC Hills community, which is mostly constructed and built, where we have ongoing projects such as Bellavista and our new Green Acres villas that are now under construction.”

DAMAC is also constructing the Veneto villas at the DAMAC Hills master-development, as well as The Trump Estates villas, and the Radisson, Kiara, and Golf Vita high-rise buildings.

Amira Sajwani adds: “Secondly, in the 55-million-square-feet AKOYA Oxygen master-development, which is our largest master-development, we have delivered most of the clusters, until now. We have a lot more deliveries happening in 2021. We should be able to deliver up to 8,000 units by mid-2021 in the AKOYA masterplan.”

DAMAC has also recently opened the 2,294.7 square metre  man-made Malibu Bay beach pool, which is the only one of its kind in a residential community in the UAE, and the largest of its kind in the GCC region.

Based on a California-vintage staycation theme, the 6,689.1 square metre Malibu Bay is equipped with amenities including food and beverage options, food trucks, as well as table tennis and a splash park for kids.

The Aykon project by DAMAC Properties has logged more than 13 million safe manhours without any lost-time incident. At the project, DAMAC reduced its on-site workers from 7,500 workers to 3,500 workers during COVID-19 to prioritise the health and safety of personnel.

DAMAC has worked with several contractors to diversify its portfolio of contractors and deliver on time during 2020.

“We have worked with several stakeholders such as Ghantoot. We have also appointed Trans Emirates Contracting for our Zada project in Business Bay. Our Aykon City project is also constructing well and ahead of time. In Akoya Oxygen, we were very closely working with Arabtec, and several other contractors.”

Commenting on the changing trends in the real estate and construction sectors, Amira Sajwani adds: “The trend that will affect the global industry the most is the work-from-home trend. A lot of companies have moved to work-from-home, and have stayed with it, through the pandemic and are even considering it for post-COVID-19 times. Office expenses are being deemed unnecessary for departments that have been able to sufficiently, and efficiently, work from home. So, I think the office commercial space supply and demand will definitely change.

“In addition to this, when we look at residential trends, a lot of people have moved from wanting to live in apartments to wanting to live in villas. Apartments have a lot of shared spaces, such as elevators, that people are avoiding because of the pandemic. Also, due to the work-from-home culture and several lockdowns, families are looking for more space in their homes.”

Watch the inteview here

Source: Construction Week

Dubai Skyline

Central Bank committed to boosting UAE realty sector

The UAE has always been a progressive economy, with the right set of ingredients for growth across sectors. The nation’s wise leadership, robust regulatory frameworks, open economy, and diverse demographics make for a resilient and sustainable economy.

The country’s real estate sector has been a foundational pillar of the UAE’s non-oil economy, and policymakers have always employed a proactive approach to boosting investments in the sector.

Due to market conditions and oversupply, prices have declined in the past couple of years, offering investors and buyers the perfect conditions to own their piece of one of the most coveted real estate landscapes in the world. To overcome softer market conditions, the government provided a further boost to investors’ sentiment and confidence by introducing reforms such as long-term visas for investors and skilled professionals, 100 per cent foreign ownership of businesses, and the establishment of the Higher Committee for Real Estate.

To top it off, in October 2019, the Central Bank of the UAE announced a cut in key interest rates to boost the economy by making borrowing cheaper. The governing body cut interest rates on both the issuance of Certificates of Deposits and the repo rate for borrowing short-term liquidity by 25 basis points.

Implications of the rate cut

The rate cut will lower the debt burden for borrowers and encourage people to invest in real estate, among other sectors. In addition 3 and low prices, lower mortgage rates could boost demand for real estate, which in turn, will help absorb the supply and activate other sectors of the economy.

The cumulative effect of market conditions and government initiatives can already be witnessed, with the Dubai Land Department recording over 5,000 transactions in November 2019, the highest in eleven years on a monthly basis. With the cost of borrowing reducing for new buyers, we could see a further boost in demand in the coming few months.

The cut in interest rates is also great news for existing homeowners with variable rate mortgage, as it will further reduce their debt burden. Affordability is one of the critical factors when it comes to making real estate decisions, and with the Central Bank lowering lending rates, buyers will see their affordability ratio become slightly higher.

Flexible lending for real estate

In 2018, the Central Bank removed the 20 per cent cap on real estate lending, which was determined by the total deposits of a bank. Over the past year, the governing body consulted with lenders in the country to propose a framework which will help control the banking industry’s exposure to the real estate sector, thus providing a backstop to flexible lending.

As per the framework, banks lending more than 20 per cent will incur a capital charge and hence will need to determine the risk-return ratio of making these decisions. This move will bring more flexibility for banks to lend while ensuring that it is done responsibly. This prudent approach by the Central Bank of the UAE has inspired investors’ confidence in the property market.

Other key Initiatives

In 2019, the Central Bank of the UAE reduced the three per cent early settlement fee for mortgages, bringing it down to one per cent, or Dh10,000, whichever is less.

The move came as part of a slew of initiatives aimed at simplifying lending for real estate. The new early settlement fee of one per cent will make it easier for homebuyers to move to another lender that’s offering lower exchange rates.

The Central Bank also scrapped the maximum age requirement, which required that borrowers must be under 70 years of age at the time of their last repayment. As per the reform, banks can now directly set age requirements for loans based on their risk management policies.

The Central Bank of the UAE has taken a prudent and guarded approach to boost investments in the real estate sector. While the imbalance between supply and demand remains one of the biggest challenges for the market, pro-investment initiatives by the government and regulators will go a long way in aiding the real estate sector’s recovery.

Source: Khaleej Times

Arabian Business International Women's Day discussion

Women’s Day: Roundtable video discussion on the changing roles of women at work

Simply increasing women’s labour force participation and eliminating discriminatory barriers could raise productivity by as much as 25 percent in some economies.

One third of women-run enterprises in the UAE generate revenue in excess of US$100,000, while female-founded companies create over 60 percent more value for investors than those founded by men.

Gender gaps in women’s entrepreneurship and labour force participation account for an estimated total income loss of 27 percent in the Middle East and North Africa.

Clinical Psychologist Dr Saliha Afridi, SVP DAMAC Properties Amira Sajwani, Women’s Rights Advocate Manal Omar and Director of Kibsons Halima Jumani discuss the changing role of women at work, challenges faced by them, and the ultimate goal of where women need to be in this week’s AB Roundtable.

Watch the round table conference video discussion

Source: Arabian Business

Golf View at DAMAC Hills

Why a golf course is the only way to live in Dubai

Lush green surroundings bring a sense of calm in an otherwise busy and hectic world.

Isolated from the whirlwind of the city, golf communities in Dubai offer the ideal setting for those who like to unwind in serenity after the daily doldrums are behind them.

In this article, we take a look at the top three benefits of living in a golf community.

Get in on the golfing action

Well, this one is a no-brainer. For golfers, living right next to the fairways is the ultimate dream. All you need to do is pack your kit and walk out of the house, onto the golf course.

Located on a private island amidst the lush greens and fairways of the Trump International Golf Club Dubai, the Trump Estates at DAMAC Hills, is the perfect example of the penultimate golfing lifestyle.

Besides Trump Estates, DAMAC Hills is also home to other golf-facing offerings such as Golf Town, Golf Vita, and Golf Veduta that offer unparalleled views and access to the award-winning Trump International Golf Club Dubai.

A community lifestyle

Besides offering easy access to fairways, golf communities offer residents a wide array of leisure and entertainment amenities. At DAMAC Hills for instance, residents have access to a host of state-of-the-art amenities such as fitness clubs, retail outlets, a four million acre park, dining options, a community centre, tennis courts, a skate park, and a stable, among others.

In addition to all the golfing action, the community offers an excellent place for residents to get together and connect with other likeminded people. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, golf communities such as DAMAC Hills and AKOYA offer the perfect environment for families to thrive.

Attractive investments

Residences in golf communities tend to have a higher perceived value. According to a KPMG report, golf courses raise the valuation of adjacent real estate by up to 20 per cent compared to properties in neighbourhoods without a golf course.

A spectacular view and access to the golf course impacts the perceived value of a property within a golf community

From world-class golf courses to international PGA tournaments, Dubai is one of the top golfing destinations in the world. It is no surprise that there is a growing demand for golf communities in the city.

From outstanding views to best-in-class amenities, golf-front living is a great way to live a holistic life that encompasses your passions and lifestyle. Considering the long-term returns, investing in a property within a golf community is also a sound investment choice.

Source: Esquire Middle East

Why developers in Dubai must align to changing consumer trends in real estate

For the real estate sector, obsolescence has been as old a challenge as the industry itself. Developments degenerate, and their appeal declines with time and changing perceptions and expectations of people. However, today, this challenge has become far more complex and pressing. Rapidly changing consumer trends, catalysed by the constant evolution of technology, demographics and social structures, are raising more questions than answers for real estate professionals, who need a whole new perspective on how real estate is designed, built, and managed.

Dubai’s real estate landscape is a prime example of changing consumer trends. What was once a sought-after destination for global investors, is evolving into a mature market where people are looking for homes, not just assets.

The city’s diverse demographics also gives us a glimpse of how consumer trends are shapeshifting on a global scale. Additionally, the government, with its numerous initiatives to drive a knowledge-based, diverse economy, is building a robust foundation for the city’s future.

The time is ripe for change in the city’s approach to real estate; and the industry players who will survive and thrive on this change, will be the ones who recognise one simple, yet profound fact – that real estate is a consumer-driven business and a service in and of itself.

Understand the demographics

Today, millennials are driving consumer trends not just among their demographic, but across a cross section of the population. For real estate developers, understanding this demographic is vital. However, this task is easier said than done.

Millennials are by far the most diverse generation of all time. Their likes, dislikes, aspirations, and motivations are spread out, and for any business, it is essential to consider this diversity and stay away from generalisation. We need to continually look for factors that connect them and those that differentiate them.

With the rise in co-living and co-working trends, it is clear that today’s customers are looking at real estate as a service. They are looking to rent or buy homes that exist in wholesome communities where they can interact with others who share common beliefs and aspirations. At the same time, they also want to live in spaces that align with their individuality.

Embrace technology

Let’s face it, technology is now synonymous to life, and consumers are continually being exposed to the next big revolution in convenience and user experience.

Technology, particularly mobile and digital, has put the consumer back into the driver’s seat, and the way they interact with businesses across the board has changed completely. Hence, the real estate sector must embrace technology, not just to build better and more efficiently, but to connect with consumers and enable them through seamless services.

Rethink investors’ returns

Besides coming up with new ways to engage community members and leveraging technology to enable them, developers must also create new and innovative channels to bring returns for investors.

Traditionally, there are two primary sources of returns for real estate investors – long-term rental yields and capital returns. Real estate developers can play a crucial role in further diversifying returns for investors.

The real estate industry needs to move away from a one-dimensional approach that revolves around ‘placemaking’ and adopt a more rounded strategy. To become developers of the future, we need to develop skills that were probably not required a few years ago.

We need to be innovative in terms of what we offer our customers. We must shift our values away from the physical to the service aspects of real estate. Above all, we have to work extensively on understanding the people we serve.

Amira Sajwani is senior vice president, Operations, at DAMAC Properties

Source: Gulf Business


Cover Story: Amira Sajwani – Journey of an Emirati Role Model and Business Woman

Amira Sajwani, Senior Vice President – Operations at DAMAC Properties, is in charge of day-to-day operations across DAMAC Properties, ensuring that cross-function teams are working closely to deliver dream homes and thriving communities.

“As always, as a real estate developer, we consider our customers and our operating environment equally important. As a company that is UAE based, we aim to support the needs of the economy and of the people who call it their home,” said Amira.

Within her expansive portfolio, she oversees the operations of DAMAC’s network of agents both locally and internationally, and plays an instrumental role in developing agent programmes and initiatives, which strengthens partnerships, and empowers agents with the tools they need to sell more effectively. She also oversees the recruitment and development of customer relationship management team members, and the digitalisation of customer portals and services.

Many of Amira’s earlier days were spent working with DAMAC’s Commercial Department, where she was able to gain experience of project management and international development from the inside.

Amira also worked closely with DAMAC’s Chief Finance Officer, which helped her develop an understanding and interest in private equity as well as mergers and acquisitions. This was instrumental in her decision to pursue a Masters in Corporate Finance.

The skills she gained during the cross-training, coupled with her post-graduate education, ensured that Amira was destined for a successful career in real estate.

“The common objective for all of us at DAMAC is to enable the creation of sustainable communities. To achieve this goal, and in my current role in the company, my primary focus is on our partners’ division, which deals with our vast network of agents and brokers. I work very closely with our agent’s network, and I aim to improve the synergy between them and our internal teams.

DAMAC has very recently launched an agent’s loyalty programme and an online platform which is aimed at creating better engagement and improving efficiency. We are also working on many other initiatives that will help connect customers with their dream homes,” said Amira.

Hussain Sajwani Influence

“My brothers and I have inherited the entrepreneurial spirit from my father who has always inspired us to develop an innovative approach to business. Having an entrepreneurial mind-set is crucial when it comes to approaching challenges and opportunities. It enables me to stay committed to the vision of the company while encouraging creativity and innovation within my team.

In an environment that is rapidly evolving through technology and people, I think being business-focused and business-savvy is what sets you apart from the crowd, and I truly believe that all of us don the entrepreneur hat at some point in our careers. I’ve grown alongside the growth of DAMAC Properties, and I have vivid memories of my father taking us to the site of DAMAC’s first project, Marina Terrace, passionately explaining every tiny detail of the project to us. Ever since then I’ve wanted to be a part of his vision, and I’m grateful that I’m able to contribute in meaningful ways now.”

Amira’s father, Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Properties, is a pioneer of the property market expansion in Dubai. In the mid-90s, he built several hotels to accommodate the growing influx of people coming to the emirate to do business and trade. In 2002, he identified a growing market opportunity and established DAMAC Properties, which has grown to become the one of the largest property development companies in the Middle East.

“My father has been a great source of inspiration, both in my professional and personal life. The valuable lessons that I have learnt from him have had the most transformative impact on me. His phenomenal entrepreneurial journey and his deep sense of serving the community have shaped my understanding and idea of business and leadership. I also find his passion and involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company very inspiring. For me, he will always be my role model,” said Amira.

DAMAC’s performance in 2019

“Considering prevalent softer market conditions and the current imbalance between supply and demand, our strategy is focused on delivering projects that are in the development pipeline, while limiting new launches,” remarked Amira.

In 2019, DAMAC delivered 3,072 units in first nine months of the year. This also includes the first ever handover in AKOYA, the Company’s largest master development.

“We have awarded contracts worth nearly AED 500 million in the first two quarters of the year for completion across key projects such as AKOYA, DAMAC Towers by Paramount, and DAMAC Maison Privé, among others.”

“We are the only company in the Middle East & GCC who have paid down total debt by 30% in the last 12 months. This was paid by cash from operations, and this is a sign of strong cash flow generation and sensible balance sheet management. We have increased our collections, cut our receivables and controlled operational costs even as we see the emergence of risky, long-term customer payment plans that are available in the market today. Our strategy has always been dependent on market conditions, and being an agile organisation, we are able to switch gears easily and adapt based on the needs of the market,” said Amira

“Dubai’s real estate market is maturing as it evolves into a market where people are looking for homes, and not just assets. While the market has been soft in terms of prices, the long-term outlook is positive. Key government initiatives such as the introduction of long-term visas for investors and skilled professionals, 100% foreign ownership of businesses, and the establishment of the Higher Committee for Real Estate Planning will provide a long-term boost for Dubai’s real estate sector. The economic impact of the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 will also drive traction for the real estate sector.”

DAMAC’s Projects

Earlier this year, DAMAC introduced Zada, a community-inspired residential property in Business Bay. Overlooking the Dubai Canal, the project features one-bedroom luxury homes along with world-class amenities such as an open-air cinema, a wellness centre, landscaped gardens, and swimming pool, among others. Zada is DAMAC’s response to a growing demand for accessible luxury homes and offers the perfect combination of location, luxury lifestyle, and value for money.

“At DAMAC, we have always believed in developing real estate that aligns with the aspirations of Dubai and the vision of the country’s wise leadership. As Dubai evolves into a place where people are looking to settle for the long term, we have shifted our focus on creating mixed-use communities that offer the perfect environment for families. Our master communities, DAMAC Hills and AKOYA, serve as ideal examples of community living spaces that appeal to every aspect of human life. Moreover, we approach real estate as a service and not just a product. Through effective community management, we activate our communities by organising events and activities that bring residents together to do what they love. Within the last two years, in our master community DAMAC Hills, we have welcomed more than 6,000 residents who enjoy a holistic lifestyle that is secluded enough for peace and quiet, and is only 30 minutes away from the bustling heart of Dubai.

On the construction front, we also have an expert team who incorporates innovations in real estate technology to achieve significant efficiencies on various fronts, an example of which is ‘framework construction’, a methodology that streamlines construction and helps save time,” said Amira.

When asked about what makes DAMAC’s project so unique Amira pointed out that their unique brand of luxury and our ability to gauge the present and future aspirations of our customers set us apart in Dubai’s real estate market.

“Our projects are designed to serve as wholesome communities where residents can live fulfilling lives. As a leading real estate developer, we have been at the forefront of the many phases of Dubai’s real estate sector, and we have delivered over 27,400 residential and hospitality units till date. Through our human-centred approach to real estate, we have created some of the most iconic projects in Dubai that have offered continued value to both investors and residents. Building on our success in the Middle East, we have also expanded to international markets like London and the Maldives, where we’re developing differentiated living experiences that complement the local culture.”


“Right now, the biggest challenge facing Dubai’s real estate market is the imbalance between supply and demand. At DAMAC, we have taken proactive measures such as limiting new launches and focusing on delivering existing projects. If the industry takes necessary steps to strike the right balance, we will be out of the woods and back on our trajectory of growth. At DAMAC, we are focused on the realities of demand, both in terms of quantity and type. It is interesting to note that we are witnessing a stabilisation in prices in certain areas, which signals a recovery of the real estate market,” said Amira.

Women in Construction

The “glass ceiling” still exists in many occupations and industries, including the construction. There are a variety of reasons why women have a hard time breaking through but this seems to be changing.

The construction industry is not homogeneous; it embraces a wide range of activities, products and skills. It includes design, building, civil engineering, oil and gas, heavy engineering, design and consultancy, and companies manufacturing and fabricating components and products used by the industry. Companies range from those employing over 5,000 people to small and medium sized enterprises that are the backbone of the industry. A multitude of skills and trades make up the workforce. The industry has changed significantly over the past decade, with new forms of procurement, partnering arrangements, increasing use of design and build with more integration between design and production, greater use of off-site pre-fabricated components, customisation of standard components, a new culture of health and safety, more use of product skills as opposed to trade skills, and more specialisation.

Due to this transformation, Amira believes that the industry itself is becoming more inclusive.

“The real estate sector, which was once considered to be a male-dominated industry, is becoming more inclusive of women. Today, women are transforming the real estate industry as professionals, agents and inspiring leaders. Women bring a unique set of skills that make them especially fit for the real estate sector, and these are inherent attributes such as active networking skills, the ability to quickly gain local expertise, multi-tasking and strong negotiation skills. At DAMAC, we strongly believe in the value that women bring into the business. Currently, women represent around 30% of our workforce, with the number steadily increasing year-on-year,” Amira said.

Amira’s rise to the top at DAMAC should not be a surprise. From an early age, Amira has been destined to be one of the leaders of the company and is seen as one of the top role models in the country. Her leadership and forward thinking decision making cannot be ignored by her peers and this ultimately will make her stand out more in the near future.

Source: Construction Business News

UAE construction leaders to learn from on Emirati Women’s Day 2019

Amira Sajwani, the daughter of UAE-based founder and chairman of DAMAC Properties, Hussain Sajwani, manages the day-to-day operations across Dubai Financial Market-listed firm in her role as its senior vice president.

According to information published on DAMAC’s website, Sajwani oversees quality control and community development, alongside proper transfer of units including hotel apartments, as well as luxury villas.

Sajwani is a graduate of University College London, where she majored in project management for construction, and holds a masters in finance from London School of Economics.

Additionally, Sajwani handles all agent relationships and works on developing agent programmes and initiatives – such as increased sales support, on-ground promotions, and brand awareness – at DAMAC.

Source: Construction week Online

17 Emirati women talk to us about the biggest misconceptions they face

Amira Sajwani, Senior Vice President of Operations, DAMAC Properties

“As a young Emirati woman with aspirations, I find the most common misconception to be about a lack of ambition. Dubai’s society today is incredibly encouraging of the roles women are capable of playing in the community and in the various different industries. Today, Emirati women are diversifying their roles in ­society, whether through creative measures such as opening successful F&B businesses that started from nothing but home kitchens, to taking on leadership roles in the government. Emirati women have ambition, and that is not always recognised.”

I find the most common misconception to be about a lack of ambition. Dubai’s society today is incredibly encouraging of the roles women are capable of playing in the community and in different industries

Amira Sajwani

Source: The National