Rizwan Sajan: The 1% Man

With the revolutionary game-changing 1 percent plan, Rizwan Sajan,  chairman and founder of Danube Group, has transformed Dubai’s property  sector not only by simplifying the buying process but also by  accelerating the shift from renting to ownership in the city.

A planned entry into properties

Despite the Dubai property boom that occurred between 2004 and 2007,  Rizwan Sajan, chairman and founder of Danube Group, was a late entrant  to the sector and witnessed the market going crazy with people standing  in queues to buy.


“Many people advised I join the property sector since my building  materials business was flourishing, but at that time, I found the market to be unbelievably crazy and ultimately, many people had gotten carried away with that boom and left the country,” he says.


Then came a time when things started settling down and Dubai won the  Expo 2020 bid, followed by the development of the Escrow Account law,  which Sajan says was a core pivot for both the investors and developers  in Dubai.

To address the issue of speculative flipping and prevent an  unrealistic property boom, the Dubai government implemented escrow  accounts in its new real estate sector. Escrow accounts securely hold  funds during transactions, discouraging short-term buying and selling  and promoting stability and transparency in the market.


Sajan explains, “Earlier, the developer would announce a project on  paper and collect the money from the investors; rather than depositing  those funds into the bank for the project’s construction, they would  purchase more plots to launch additional projects.” To ensure  construction commitments and financial security, the Dubai government  introduced a regulation mandating developer to provide a significant  guarantee.


As per the rule, developers must deposit the funds into an escrow  account regardless of unit sales. This measure aims to promote  transparency, safeguard buyer investments, and guarantee the completion  of construction projects in Dubai’s real estate sector. “This stabilised the market and the unwanted people who were borrowing money to enter  the business left, leaving only genuine investors in the business.”

The ingenious new one percent plan


By the time Sajan entered the property sector, there were already  multiple big players established in the sector. “While we were doing  fantastically in building materials, in real estate, I knew we had to  come up with something special to compete because we realised that 80 to 90 percent of expats were still renting, and I wanted to convert them  into buying their own properties,” he explains.  “This is how I came up  with the one percent plan.”


Shifting the mindset of expats who had rented in Dubai wasn’t easy,  he says, because most of these individuals were salaried individuals.  “Most expats in the UAE have lived here at least four to five years and  have accumulated some savings, but not enough to purchase a property for themselves,” he tells.


“After brainstorming, we devised the one percent plan whereby in  addition to a small down payment, the monthly payment was set at just  one percent per month with the balance collected once the building was  ready.”


According to Sajan, this instantly became a super hit and helped  steer his successful foray into the affordable market. “We came out with super competitive prices which anybody could afford with a studio  apartment priced at AED500K to AED600K; a 1BHK at AED800K to AED900K,  and a 2 BHK apartment priced at AED1.3K to 1.5K; this was also  acceptable because instead of paying rent, you could own your own  property and became an excellent option.”


The strategy behind the 1 percent plan


The one percent plan proved to be an immediate success, drawing long  queues of prospective buyers. Rizwan Sajan credits the support of banks  to his 30 years of experience in the building business, enabling him to  execute such a profitable strategy.
“The plan was that I would come up with an amount before the handover of the property collection,” he says.


The 1% plan devised by Rizwan Sajan proved to be a win-win for  customers. He explains that once the building reached 60 percent  completion, banks were willing to finance the remaining 40 percent of  the property’s cost. This was designed to benefit our customers, banks,  and Danube as well. This also eliminated the need for customers to  approach banks directly or wait for lengthy approval processes and  uncertain interest rates. The one percent plan is considered the core  principle on which Danube Properties was built.


“The plan was that I would come up with an amount before the handover of the property collection,” he says. The one percent plan devised by  Sajan proved to be a win-win for customers. He explains that once the  building reached 60 percent completion, banks were willing to finance  the remaining 40 percent of the property’s cost, even before the title  deed was handed over to the customer. This eliminated the need for  customers to approach banks directly or wait for lengthy approval  processes and uncertain interest rates. The one percent plan is  considered the core principle on which Danube Properties was built.

The affordable segment


And while the earlier market depended on expats, according to Sajan,  the dynamics have changed. “Earlier it was 80 to 90 percent expats and  20 percent foreigners (living overseas), but now the figure has become  50/50 with many looking to make Dubai their second home which is  excellent for the Dubai economy.”


While most developers were selling high-end villas, Sajan points out  that there was “Whether they were residing in Bur Dubai, Karama,  Sharjah, this group could not purchase property in those areas due to  freehold restrictions,” he says. He came up with an innovative concept  to build properties in near proximity to where they were living, enhance them with some luxury, and provide some amenities.


He explains, “After we offered 40 amenities, we realised we should  add more; Danube’s success mantra is simple: one project at a time. We  prioritize completing and selling out each project before moving on to  the next one.”


Entering the luxury segment


With the launch of Fashionz by Danube and FashionTV, Danube  Properties has entered the luxury market, aligning with the glitz and  glamour that epitomises Dubai. Recognizing the pulse of property trends, Sajan seized the opportunity when Fashion TV arrived in Dubai,  perfectly encapsulating Dubai’s opulent vibe.


“Fashionz is furnished by Fashion TV designers with interiors  customised specifically for us, not available anywhere in Dubai,” he  explains, backed by USP to create something unique in the market every  time. Danube Properties Fashionz redefines luxury living with an  exceptional selection of more than 40 unprecedented amenities.


Residents can indulge in extraordinary features such as an indoor  swimming pool, 24/7 medical services, a kids’ play area, and much more,  setting a new standard for lavish living in Dubai.


Outstanding CSR


Sajan’s first CSR initiative focused on blue-collar workers,  providing them with English language and computer skills training. This  program aimed to empower these workers, as their inability to speak  English often restricted them to heavy labour jobs, despite their  potential and willingness to work. Unlike many other businesses that  laid off employees during the pandemic, Danube Group chose not to  terminate any of its workforces. This decision by Sajan provided a  significant boost of motivation to the employees. The employees he had  retained returned with full dedication, resulting in the company  achieving its highest profits that year.


Future launches


According to Sajan, moving forward, Danube Properties will continue in the same manner.
He explains, “Our policy has been quite simple; launch one project at a  time, sell 70 percent of it and put that project into construction; then embark upon the next project. We have always followed this formula as  illustrated with his recently launched Fashionz which is already 70  percent sold and Viewz, already 100 percent sold. If I don’t sell, I  don’t start something new,” he says, with their next project Elitz 2 in  JVC.

“Only after this is sold, we will move on to the next project; as the market can turn upside down in a few months, I would rather make  smaller money and work on one project at a time.”


Supply and demand

In terms of Dubai’s burgeoning property sector, Sajan maintains that he is not worried about the supply in the market.
“I am not at all worried because unlike 2008 and 2009, this time the  market is completely different. Earlier it was the flippers and not the  demand. Today, the actual demand is coming from the expats who want to  stay in a particular apartment or the overseas foreigners who aspire to  make Dubai a second home,” he says.


Sajan is confident that Dubai’s remarkable reputation for safety,  entertainment, infrastructure, taxation benefits, and Golden Visa will  keep the market stable for two to three years without significant  issues. He acknowledges the supply entering the market but emphasises  that it is at a gradual and controlled pace rather than an overwhelming  surge. This careful and measured approach is evident as developers  launch new projects slowly and steadily.

Fully furnished to facility management

Danube excels not only in property sales for investors but has also  launched a specialized company devoted to managing and selling  properties. This innovative endeavor offers prospective buyers the  unique opportunity to both rent and maintain their properties.
What truly distinguishes this company is the assurance of a guaranteed return on investment, ranging from 6-10%.

To further enhance the experience for investors, Danube has  introduced an additional company that will handle all aspects of  facility management. From furnishings to overall maintenance, this  comprehensive approach ensures a hassle-free and worry-free property  ownership experience. Investing in Danube grants you the peace of mind  of seamless property management and unparalleled convenience.

Sr: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/real-estate/rizwan-sajan-the-1-man

Dubai: Danube Properties launches Dh800 million Elitz 3

Danube Properties on Saturday launched Elitz 3 with a development value exceeding Dh800 million.

Located at the Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), the project will be in the same area as Elitz and Elitz 2 towers — which are currently  under construction.

Upon completion in the fourth quarter of 2026, the twin  towers will rise 40 and 46 floors high and deliver 750 residential units including studio, 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments, and a few retail  stores

It comes with more than 40 community, health, and lifestyle  amenities including a health club, swimming pools, sports arena, tennis  court, barbecue area, and jogging track, among other facilities.

Elitz 3 is Danube Properties’ 24th residential project and the 9th tower to be launched in the last 18 months.

With Elitz 3, the Danube project portfolio stands at  11,529 units spread across 24 projects with a combined development value exceeding Dh10 billion so far.

“Dubai’s real estate market continues to defy global economic  slowdown due to its dynamism and attractiveness and we see sustained  growth soon, which reinforces our firm belief in the market. This is  what has encouraged us to launch Elitz 3 within just a month after  launching Elitz 2 at the Jumeirah Village Circle,” Rizwan Sajan,  Founder, and Chairman of Danube Group, said.

“The launch of the Elitz 3 comes after Dubai’s real estate market has seen an unprecedented surge in the number of real estate transactions  reaching 60,440 worth Dh177.3 billion being recorded during the first  half of the year. The value of real estate sales recorded in the first  six months of the year exceeds the annual sales value recorded each year in Dubai from 2009 to 2021. Real estate is currently the biggest driver of Dubai’s economy that is attracting a large pool of domestic and  foreign investment,” Sajan said.

Prices of residential units start from Dh699,000 for a studio  apartment. Elitz 3 comes with a trend-setting 1 per cent monthly payment plan, following the initial deposits — making home acquisition more  affordable and attractive.

“Our trend-setting 1 per cent monthly payment scheme is helping  more and more tenants to buy property and enjoy living in their own  homes which has increased the number of freehold homeowners in the UAE,” said Sajan.

Danube said its homes are usually delivered around mid-way  through the payment plan, which means the buyer can move into the  apartment after paying 65 per cent of the total value of the property.  This helps homeowners extract additional value either by increasing  savings on the rent or by paying the equated monthly instalments (EMI)  from the rental income.

The private developer has a policy of launching one project at a  time, selling it out, and then appointing a contractor to build it,  before launching the next one. It has delivered 11 of them while the  rest are currently under various stages of construction.

The developer will deliver three towers this year including  Wavez, Jewelz, and Olivz. Most of the projects launched in 2022 and 2023 are ahead of the construction and delivery schedule, it said in a  statement on Sunday.

Recently, Danube signed an agreement with Dubai Land Department  to offer an Initial Sale Contract (Oqood) to property buyers almost  instantly.

High demand propels Danube Properties to launch Dh900 million Elitz 2 project in JVC

Danube Properties, the fastest-growing private real estate developer  in the UAE, announced the launch of Elitz 2 at the Jumeirah Village  Circle (JVC), with a development value exceeding Dh900 million in the  presence of Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and Bollywood superstar Malaika Arora.

The project will be near Elitz 1 tower – which is currently under construction – and help meet the growing demand for quality homes at  prime locations.

When completed in the third quarter of 2026, Elitz 2 will deliver 750  residential units including studio apartments, one-bedroom, two-bedroom  and three-bedroom apartments and a few retail stores. Like most other  Danube projects, homes at Elitz 2 will also come with more than 40  amenities for the community, including health and lifestyle amenities  and a health club, swimming pools, sports arena, tennis court, barbecue  area, jogging track, among other facilities.

Prices of residential units starts from Dh650,000 (US$177,111) for a  studio apartment. However, prices of the units will continue to  appreciate with time, making them worth investing in. Danube Properties’ homes comes with attractive and trend-setting one per cent payment  plan, following the initial deposits – making home acquisition more  affordable and simple.

The homes are usually delivered around mid-way of the payment  plan, which means the buyer can move in the apartment after paying 60  percent of the total value of the property. This helps homeowners to  extract additional value either by increase savings on the rents or by  paying the equated monthly instalments (EMI) from the rental income.

Elitz 2 is Danube Properties’ 23 residential project in nine years since the company started development activities in 2014 and the  8th project in a row to be launched in the last 16 months, that  translates to one project launches in every two months – making it also  the busiest private real estate developer in the UAE.

Danube Properties maintains a policy of launching one project at  time, sell it out, then appoint a contractor to build the project,  before launching the next one. It has so far sold out 22 of the 23  projects launched so far and delivered 12 of them while the rest are  currently under various stages of construction.

In addition to launching projects and building them, Danube  Properties will also deliver three projects this year including Wavez,  Jewelz and Olivz. Most of the projects launched in 2022 and 2023 are  ahead of the construction and delivery schedule.

“The launch of Elitz 2 is in response to the continued high  demand for quality homes and comes within less than two months of  launching of Fashionz project which is nearly sold out,” said Rizwan  Sajan, founder and chairman at Danube Group.

“Elitz 2 is one of our large projects in terms of the number of  residential units – 750 to be specific – that is to cater to the growing demand. With a more than 40 lifestyle facilities, homes in Elitz 2  offer luxury and larger-than-life lifestyle to homeowners who will be  pampered with the best of the best that is available in the market.

“The launch of Elitz 2 comes within a week after we completed  Wavez and breaking grounds for the construction of Viewz – one of our  largest projects – with sales value exceeding Dh2.05 billion that was  unveiled in January and sold out within two weeks. This marks the  construction of Viewz while the last project Fashionz will go into  groundbreaking process in the next few weeks. As a developer, we have a  very customer-centric approach and that’s why we are focused on  delivery. Most of our projects are handed over before promised delivery  date – that reflects our strong commitment to home buyers and investors  in line with our slogan —We launch, we deliver.”

Elitz 2 homes will be smart and sustainable homes and will  consume less energy – in line with the UAE’s commitment to  sustainability. The building will also comply to green building  standards.

Danube Properties offers homeowners 10-year Golden Visa –  especially those who qualify as per the investment criteria – subject to government approval. The Dubai Land Department recently signed an  agreement with Danube Properties to offer Initial Sale Contract (Oqood)  to property buyers almost instantly.

As one of the most successful developers in the UAE with the highest  launch-to-delivery ratio, Danube Group has recently delivered Bayz,  Glamz, Starz, Resortz, Elz, Lawnz and Wavez while it prepares to deliver three more projects this year. All these projects have been greatly  appreciated by those who had bought units in them.

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-network/high-demand-propels-danube-properties-to-launch-dh900-million-elitz-2-project-in-jvc

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