In 2016, we completed the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, SKAI’s first hotel and residences, ahead of schedule. Building it has been a real labour of love. My wife, Nadia, who’s also in property development, tells me that building a hotel is a bit like having a baby – you forget about the pain of giving birth afterwards. I have to say now that the hotel’s almost complete I’m starting to agree with her!
I don’t think you get anywhere without working hard. I’m also a firm believer if something feels right, you should go for it. I’d always been interested in the plot of land on the Palm Jumeirah where the Viceroy’s located, so when I found out it was for sale, I immediately went to check it out and the next day I went to Nakheel and paid for it with money I didn’t have, because I knew that it was right.
Within days of launching the project in 2013, we’d secured Dhs2.4 billion worth of sales, representing 98 per cent of the total units available. I just listened to my intuition. I knew it was the right thing for my company.