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

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Billionaire Dubai real estate developer DAMAC Properties has started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments for its luxury apartments.

Founded in 2002 by colorful billionaire Hussain Sajwani, DAMAC Properties operates across the Middle East, Canada and the UK. It also owns the high-end fashion and jewelry brands Roberto Cavalli and De-Grisgono.

Sajwani is known for extravagant marketing tactics like giving away free Lamborghinis to homebuyers. He also partnered with Donald Trump in 2013 to open several Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai.

The roughly $2.1 billion company may be looking at crypto as a way to garner some attention after a few disappointing years. DAMAC reportedly posted net sales of $816 million in 2021 but posted an overall net loss of $144.6 million in a year plagued by the global pandemic. The year before, the company’s losses also totaled $176 million.

According to an April 27 announcement, in addition to accepting payments in BTC and ETH when needed, the company will also make it easier for the seller to switch to fiat. DAMAC’s General Manager of Operations, Ali Sajwani, noted that the company has a particular focus on emerging technologies like crypto:

“For global companies like ours, staying at the forefront of evolution is critical. It is exciting to offer another transaction mode and we are excited to see 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 like Bybit, Binance, and FTX Europe recently doing business there. Kraken also received a license earlier this week.

The company noted that it is interested in “fueling” Dubai’s ambitions by rolling out more crypto initiatives.

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

“While most use the term metaverse loosely, we think it’s much more, and we’ve built a solution where we bridge the physical and digital assets to enable cross-use.”

“We built a solution to integrate the different platforms under DAMAC, whether it’s real estate, fashion or jewelry, all bringing to the Metaverse,” he added.