Dr. Anas Hasan AlMulla is the Founder and Managing Partner of District 7 Properties. Originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he has now lived in Dubai, UAE for the past 7 years. District 7 Properties was founded in 2014, and since then, it has been involved in funding and investing in more than 100 key real estate ventures in the UAE with the vision to be a defining force in the future skyline of Dubai and the UAE. The firm is currently expanding internationally to a much wider audience, and its ultimate ambition is to be an iconic company that generates enormous value for its clients, partners, and the community as a whole.
Has District 7 achieved what you anticipated when you first founded the company in 2014?
Yes and no! Yes, we met part of our goal to acquire yield generating assets, we have more than 100 units. No, our plans were to have over 300 yield generating units (75 each year since inception). The challenge was meeting real estate development timeline, and some developers took significantly more time than they should.
What makes District 7 an iconic company in the UAE?
The mindset: we are always looking for growth and opportunities. I personally believe there are always opportunities in any economic situation, and it is how hard you work and how well you’re connected that creates an opportunity which leads to a great deal.
What would you say is your biggest inspiration and motivation?
I’m inspired by successful people and motivated when I see a successful story. Everything around us is made by humans, from real estate to technology to aerospace – when I look around and recognize that as a fact, not even the sky can be my limit.
How do you encourage growth and success at the company?
With proper planning, motivation and education. You need the ATM to be able to grow and succeed. I’m not talking about an ATM machine that you withdraw money from—I’m talking about Ability, Time and Money. You develop your ability by educating yourself and your team, create time by acquiring assets that generate income and raise money by utilizing your connections and being able to convince partners and investors.
How do you plan to achieve your goal of reaching international markets?
By planning. I believe planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now. We hired consultants around the world to study global markets and find opportunities, as the globe is full of opportunities, but finding attractive ROIs with proper guidelines to protect landlords is a rarity. I must say, Dubai generates amazing returns governed by well-developed landlord guidelines, and that’s why our biggest portfolio is in Dubai and will remain this way.
Are there any recent developments that you’re excited about?
There are always developments to be excited about, but the one that grabs my attention right now is our newest building, Sparkle Towers. Located in Dubai’s marina, it is inspired by Swarovski, very close to the nearby bus and tram stop, has direct access to marina walk, is the only tower in Dubai with separate pools and gyms (one females only) and is across the road from JBR walk and Dubai Eye. Starting August 2019, you’ll be able to enjoy our rooms and book them through our partner, TripAdvisor, Booking and Airbnb to enjoy a full marina view with exceptional services. If you ever visit Dubai’s marina, you’ll never miss it—it’s the only tower that sparkles at night. Imagine a piece of Swarovski… now imagine a whole tower made of it.
You’re a successful Orthodontist by education and now a successful CEO – can you tell us more?
Ah, this question brings back controversial memories. I spent 29 years of my life studying until I acquired my PhD and Speciality in Orthodontics from Sweden. I went through challenging times after I moved back to Saudi Arabia in 2010, which lead me to Dubai in 2012. After exactly 24 months of being an Assistant Professor in a university and a consultant orthodontist in private practice, the challenges stopped, and my career became a bit boring. I’ve always hustled, always wanted to do more and be more. Real Estate was always something that I admired, and I had a gut feeling that you can never lose with real estate. I taught myself the Ability and had no issues with raising money, my only challenge was “time”. In my opinion, “time” is the most important commodity in life, and if you own your “time” then you own your life. Six months later we founded District 7 Properties. Real Estate is the best asset-based investment and Dubai made it very attractive for us to consider it.
You talked about your Ability – what would you tell people reading this interview about enhancing theirs?
To me, life is based on rules. Apply the rules and you’ll reach your goals. The rules that I believe in are the Blessings of God, prayers of family/friends and doing your SAVERS. Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. By doing these every day, early in the morning, you’ll start noticing a change in your life. The journey is thrilling, and I advise everyone to do it. Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.
Thanks very much for your time, it has been an interesting interview. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, maybe something a bit personal?
Yes, I want to tell you about my personal dream, and to tell you about “giving”. I think financial wealth is good for three things: buying, investing and giving. The joy of the first two goes away, but the joy of “giving” never goes away; it has changed my life and I am currently working on a movement that, hopefully, will inspire the globe to “give”.
Thank you for this interview and it was a pleasure meeting all of you.