Company: Damac Properties
Designation: Founder and chairman
Country of residence: United Arab Emirates
As founder of the Middle East’s largest wholly private sector property developer, Hussain Sajwani certainly deserves a place on our list. The chairman of Damac Properties founded the company in 2002, taking advantage of a Dubai government decree that allowed foreigners to own property in the emirate for the first time. He already had experience in building hotels during the 1990s, as more expats flocked to do business with the booming city. In recent years, Damac partnered with high profile international brands. In 2014, Sajwani chose to list the company on the London Stock Exchange.
Sajwani’s entrepreneurial pursuits began in 1982 when he started a catering company, after leaving a career in the oil and gas industry. Going into business has paid off – Sajwani is estimated to be worth more than $5bn.