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Colorful billionaire’s Dubai real estate firm now accepts BTC and ETH

Multi-billion dollar Dubai-based real estate developer DAMAC Properties has started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments for its luxury abodes.

DAMAC Properties was founded by colorful billionaire Hussain Sajwani in 2002, and the firm has conducted business throughout the middle east, Canada and the United Kingdom. It also owns high-end fashion and jewelry brands Roberto Cavalli and De-Grisgono.

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 launch multiple Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai.

The firm, valued at roughly $2.1 billion, may be looking at crypto as a way to attract some attention after a couple of underwhelming years. DAMAC reportedly posted net revenues of $816 million in 2021 but overall saw a net loss of $144.6 million amid a year plagued by the global pandemic. The year prior, the firm’s losses also tallied $176 million.

According to a Wednesday announcement, alongside accepting payments in BTC and ETH, the firm will also facilitate the conversion to fiat for the seller if needed. DAMAC’s general manager of operations Ali Sajwani noted that the firm is paying particular focus to evolve technology such as crypto:

“It is crucial for global businesses like ours to stay at the top of evolution. Offering yet another transactional mode is exciting, and we are glad to recognize the value this technology brings to our customers.”

DAMAC also highlighted that Dubai is “becoming a crypto hub” thanks to the government’s crypto-friendly regulations and virtual asset licenses, with top exchanges such as Bybit, Binance and FTX Europe all recently setting up shop there. Kraken also obtained a license earlier this week.

The firm noted that it is keen on “fueling” Dubai’s ambitions by rolling out further crypto initiatives.

Sajwani also noted in February that the company holds ambitious plans to launch its own NFT-backed Metaverse platform.

“So, while most use the term Metaverse loosely we think it is much more and we have come up with a solution where we bridge the physical and digital assets to allow for cross-utilization.”

“We have formulated a solution to integrate the different platforms under DAMAC, whether real estate, fashion, jewelry bringing all onto the metaverse,” he added.

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