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  • Writer's picturePrime Global Awards

Interview: Amira Sajwani; Winner | Achievement Award - Leading Women in Real Estate Innovation

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates.

Interviewer: Welcome to Prime Global Awards, We are thrilled to have you with us today, and congratulations on winning the achievement award as a leading woman in real estate innovation.

Ms. Amira: Thank you for having me it is a pleasure to be here.

Interviewer: Would you please introduce yourself to our audience

Ms. Amira: Sure, I am Amira Sajwani, I am the managing director at Damac Properties, and I handle all the sales and development. we are the largest private developers in the country, we have delivered over 40,000 homes already, and we have many under construction. we have our footprint in properties in Dubai, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi, and we delivered our project in London recently. We have purchased land in Miami, so we have a global footprint and look forward to growing even more.

Interviewer: I am sure you are, can you please share some highlights of your experience in real estate?

Ms. Amira: Sure, I think that the real estate industry has been the most interesting industry in the last few years, to see it take off so quickly and recover rapidly from COVID has been an amazing experience. Dubai's footprint speaks for itself, the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed, and the way he is taking us forward to a new area, even luxury has been phenomenal. The market today is very strong, and it is attracting new buyers and attracting the global spotlight across the entire industry and across the entire economy more just than real estate.

The real estate industry has also moved to a new type of market that is the ultra-luxury market, The properties that have come to the market in the last couple of years have been new, even to us developers, as the client is coming in, and demanding that type of product, products like penthouses, mansions, highly prices, highly fitted-out, and very luxuries, and so the real estate market has been doing very well across, and all sectors in terms of the audience have been performing and the new products keeping us invites for all of us as a developers.

Interviewer: Why did you choose to study Project Management? And in your opinion what do you think makes a good project manager?

Ms. Amira: I mean studying project management is a natural progression for me with the family business in real estate legacy, and it was a very interesting experience. I did not learn much more than what I had already learned by the age of 12 by being in the office and being on the sites and taking that experience on a real-hands basis. I think to answer the second part of your question, the interesting part of project management it allows you to think differently across everything you are doing, not just on-site projects, It allows you to manage the different types of tasks and different responsibilities in a very organized manner, and prioritize according to what is needed versus what is necessary and the luxury of achieving, because it gets you to think as project manager kind of methodology.

Interviewer: Now, as a businesswoman involved in various roles, what is your secret to maintaining a successful balance?

Ms. Amira: I think the secret to maintaining a successful balance is to prioritize, I have two daughters, two and a half years old and seven months old, and I try very hard to make sure that they have equal attention. The word balance today is very open-ended, for me balance means my kids and my work, it doesn't mean alone time or time for anything else, so everybody I think has to prioritize their balance based on where they see life is needed right now. I spent time with my kids in the morning, I dropped them off at school, I made sure to come home for bedtime, and holidays are dedicated to them, I try to take at least one holiday every couple of months to get a quality time with them, and that is how I manage, as I think it really depends on how you manage your time in the day.

Interviewer: Please tell me the story of your company "PRYPCO", and its services.

Ms. Amira: "PRYPCO" is my baby, that is a PropTech that I recently launched, less than a year ago. I have been in real estate for so long, that I have been managing the entire sales and development process and structure and departments for years now, I am very familiar with all of the main points across the journey for the entire industry, for clients, for brokers, for partners, as well for our own employees, and I think technology is defiantly needed in all sectors around the world, but it is not necessarily as advanced as in PropTech or real estate as it is in BioTech or, or, and I think there is a huge potential for growth in Dubai.

"PRYPCO" has two different verticals, We have a mortgage vertical that aims at digitizing mortgages and allowing clients to get quicker pre-approvals as well as making the entire journey online and transparent and easy for clients to be able to go through. It is also to give our brokers and our channel partners a tool to allow them to sell more easily, so today what we do is we offer our channel partners to put on their clients as leads who want mortgages, and we process the entire mortgages, for their clients on their behalf, so that is the first vertical that we have which was launched less than a year ago, and it is been doing quite well, especially in the last 6 months, almost we doubling our volume month on month.

The next vertical is a smaller one that we have launched recently based on the demand from the market asking me actually, It is a service vertical to serve clients and brokers to add their clients to provide real estate services, and we are trying to digitalize those as well, such as applying for a golden visa in UAE, leasing your property, property management, snagging, whatever it comes under different services that the property owners might require.

Our third vertical is due to go live in the next couple of months, hopefully, it will be fractional ownership, which will allow investors to invest in property starting from two hundred fifty dollars, and they get a share of the property relative to what they have invested, for the next couple of years they will get the rental income of that property, and the point of sale they will get their initial investment as well the capital appreciation has happened, I think that this is a something that has a potential to change the market, democratize real estate and open it to much larger audience they were not able to invest in real estate due to the large required-entry price, so that will be actually a very big focus for us for the next year. we are also coming to the market with our ideas of how to cross-sell all of these and combine them in order to produce a unique product in the market that nobody has done before.

Interviewer: So in your own opinion, tell me what is your company's unique selling proposition? and going forward how you can ensure a reasonable edge over your competitors in UAE real estate market?

Ms. Amira: I think the unique thing about "PRYPCO" is that we offer many solutions under one umbrella, A lot of competitors are focusing on a single solution, and we are trying to create and system that serves the entire real estate industry in terms of solutions and all audiences, so some startups are focusing on the clients, some are focusing on brokers, some are focusing on investors, some are focusing on the end user, we are trying to connect all under one umbrella and able to solve everything, so for the investors who will invest through us we would love to offer them leasing, property management getting in touch with your broker again through us, track your product, track the transparency, and track where you are in the process, We want to be able to have a system that provides everything in one place for stakeholders in real estate.

Interviewer: Could you share some of the challenges that “PRYPCO” faced, and how you overcame those challenges?

Ms. Amira: That is a very interesting question, We are obviously a very new company as we have been less than a year, and I think our biggest challenge, which is a big achievement, is that we have grown so fast repetition, so when I launched it I did not expect that reaction from the market, but I believe because of my personal brand and who I am I got a lot of attention from the real estate brokers, from the market, from the client, and we won't be prepared to cater so much demand, today we are in a much better place, and we are ready to grow more in the next years.

Interviewer: What are your insights on the future of the Dubai real estate market?

Ms. Amira: You know that is a million-dollar question, I think the Dubai real estate market will be phenomenally well. today the type of attention that is on Dubai City is unique, we are positioned as a global dominating city. London, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, and this is the sentence that we are in today, and that puts us in a very unique position. The type of talent that comes to the city is a notch above, the type of companies is a notch above, and the kind of investors are very well-read investors, and that is very good for the city, It shows that there is a huge interest globally from Dubai, the type of people as well are coming in terms of nationalities are so diverse today and not focused on one, two or three nationalities. I have clients coming in from the US, Canada, Australia, and Budapest and that is great because that diversity shows that it is not all about a quick investment in Dubai, as people are moving, people are bringing their families, their companies, there is a demand for real estate for living, and that is very good for the country.

Interviewer: What is your message to the young generation? and for startup companies?

Ms. Amira: My message to the young generation, You caught me with that question, I think my message to the young generation needs to have faith in themselves, be courageous, and go after their dreams, it is very important to be ambitious and to keep trying, even if you have a silly idea, keep trying, I am not saying you should quit your job and do it, but you have four hours after works, you have one two hours before work, and lunch break in between. I think it is very important to keep the innovative spirit and that has really built Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has a famous quote he always says in the media, and it is one of my favorite quotes, He said " A deer wakes up in the jungle and has to run to not be eaten, a lion wakes up in the jungle and has to run to find food, if you live in Dubai you better wake up and be ready to run no matter who you are" so this is the spirit that Dubai is building. You wake up you are hungry to run after what you want.

I have two young kids and I always say they can go to whatever they want, They don't have to go into real estate, and they don't have to go into finance, they don't have to follow the footsteps of me or their father or grandfather, they can go to whatever they like, but they better be the best in whatever they chose, they better aim to be the best, and whatever passion or desire or interest they have.


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