Danube founder finds his dream in Dubai

Rizwan Sajan.
Updated 03 May 2018
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Danube founder finds his dream in Dubai

  • Rizwan Sajan started his business with only a few hundred dirhams.
  • Danube now has operations across the world.

DUBAI: An Indian who started his business with only a few hundred dirhams in his pocket has said he feels elated that his company’s imprint can be found in almost every home in Dubai.
Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, is an example of how Dubai has changed the lives of thousands of expatriates searching for a better future.
“I lost my father at the age of 12. At a time when most boys plan for their dream careers and sports, I had to start selling books and fireworks to support my family,” said Sajan, who comes from a middle-class family in Mumbai.
At age 18, Sajan found a job in Kuwait. “My Kuwait job changed lots of things back home. I was able to provide a good living to my family, but the Kuwait war changed everything. I had to return to Mumbai in 1991. That marked the beginning of a new struggle all over again,” said Sajan, whose company is now worth more than 4 billion dirhams.
In 1993, Sajan arrived in Dubai and since then there has been no looking back. His small trading firm, Danube, has grown into one of the largest building materials companies in the region with interests in property, construction and improvements.
Danube now has operations across the world, including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and India, in addition to procurement offices in China. The company has more than 3,000 employees in strategic locations in the GCC, China and India.
“It took me about two decades, but today I say with confidence and pride that almost every home in Dubai has me or my company Danube in different ways. Be it your beautiful lights, furniture or even a tap in your bathroom, we are there with you in your home in some shape and form. That is a privilege that few companies could cherish,” he said.
“The foundation and direction of this country is so solid that it provides an excellent opportunity to anyone who wants to pursue their dreams,” Sajan said. “I have faith in this country and its leadership, and I know me, my family, my business and my workers and colleagues all are protected and blessed here. What other country can give this kind of assurance?”
According to Sajan, even during 2008, when the financial market was struggling around the world, there was no shortage of opportunity.
“We spread our wings and entered the real estate construction business. This is the kind of positivity and faith Dubai gives to each one of us. We never lost hope. On the contrary, we strive for better despite challenges,” he said.


Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

Updated 16 November 2018
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Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

BEIJING: The Chinese tourism ministry has asked authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to investigate room cleaning at 14 major hotels after hidden camera video showed workers using used towels to clean cups and glasses and other questionable practices.
Several of the hotels including a Shangri-La, Sheraton and Waldorf Astoria have apologized since an activist blogger posted the video online earlier this week. In several clips, workers in bathrooms wipe down sinks, coffee cups and glasses with the same used towel.
The Peninsula hotel in Beijing said Friday that city inspectors had tested its cups and found they were cleaner than standards required. The Park Hyatt in Beijing called what happened an isolated occurrence.