Dubai-based multibillion-dollar developer DAMAC Properties has begun accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) for its luxury homes.
“Offering yet another transaction mode is exciting and we are pleased to recognize the value this technology has for our clients,” said Ali Sajwani, general manager of DAMAC Properties.
DAMAC Properties was founded by colorful billionaire Hussain Sajwani in 2002 and the firm has done business in the Middle East, Canada and the UK. He also owns the high-end fashion and jewelry brands Roberto Cavalli and De-Grisgono.
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Sajwani is known for extravagant marketing tactics such as giving away free Lamborghinis to property buyers. He also teamed up with Donald Trump in 2013 to open several Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai.
The firm, valued at around $2.1 billion, may see crypto as a way to gain attention after a couple of bad years for the business. DAMAC reportedly posted $816 million in net revenue in 2021, but overall the company posted a net loss of $144.6 million amid the global pandemic. The firm also lost $176 million a year earlier.
Along with accepting payments in BTC and ETH, the firm will also make it easy for the merchant to convert them into fiat, if needed, according to Wednesday’s announcement. DAMAC General Manager Ali Sajwani noted that the firm pays special attention to the development of technologies such as cryptocurrency:
“For global companies such as ours, it is critical to stay at the forefront of evolution. Offering yet another transaction mode is exciting and we are excited to recognize the value this technology has for our customers.”
DAMAC also stressed that Dubai is “becoming a crypto hub” thanks to government regulations and virtual asset licenses, with leading exchanges such as Bybit, Binance and FTX Europe recently opening offices there. Kraken also received a license earlier this week.
The firm noted that it is interested in “fueling” Dubai’s ambitions by rolling out further crypto initiatives.
Sajwani also noted in February that the company has ambitious plans to launch its own NFT-backed Metaverse platform.
“So while most use the term Metaverse loosely, we think it’s much more than that, and we’ve come up with a solution where we connect physical and digital assets to enable cross-use. We have developed a solution for integrating various platforms within DAMAC, be it real estate, fashion, jewelry, bringing it all together into a metaverse,” he added.