How I got here: Zaki Ameer, founder and CEO, Dream Design Property - Gulf Business
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How I got here: Zaki Ameer, founder and CEO, Dream Design Property

How I got here: Zaki Ameer, founder and CEO, Dream Design Property

Ameer details lessons learned since first starting in the real estate business


I went to an English-run private school called the University of London for 17 years, though most of my time was spent flunking out of school and selling audiotapes, chocolates and books at lunchtime and on the weekend. Between the ages of 18 and 21 I did my bachelors degree of business in Sydney, going on to attain my real-estate licence. Among the other courses I have taken so far are those in investing, personal development and psychology.

My start

My biggest inspiration has always been my parents, and they continue to be so. Seeing their success and freedom gave me the motivation to set myself up financially, and now my motivation and focus lie in giving financial freedom to my staff and clients. Going through 12 years of corporate life and being involved in the family businesses gave me the insight and knowledge of systems, procedures and security necessary to begin my business. I went to Australia in 1998 and did my university degree for four years, then after that I went on to work for 12 years at Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks. I got into property in 2008 and started investing for myself. In three years, I purchased 15 properties, which attracted a lot of attention. I started giving people advice for free and then as I became busier began to charge people for my advice. By 2011, I left Westpac and started my own business called Dream Design Property and have been building it up ever since.

High and lows

Among the many highs are when your client makes money, when your client refers other people, and when your staff acknowledge how much you mean to them in their life. Another high is waking up every day knowing you’ve made a positive impact on society. Among the lows are feeling too overwhelmed to handle what is in front of you, when you feel that you’re alone and nobody is with you, when things don’t go as planned, and when you feel taken advantage of.


My attitude is that ‘whatever can’t be done can be done’. I try to avoid using words such as ‘don’t’, ‘can’t, and ‘shouldn’t’ as they can always be replaced with something more positive. I always set my goals high but know to sometimes set reasonable limits. Understanding what you want and what you are trying to achieve is necessary for success, and finding the right people who align with these aims is key. My approach is to understand the needs of my staff to run a happy, thriving business. Once you achieve this you will find success. An important tip I have learnt is to not take it upon yourself to do every task. Many small business people want to do everything without delegating or giving tasks to others, but you need to take less money for a greater success, and because you are sharing the success with others than you have more time to what you want to do.

Dos and don’ts

Do understand yourself and others around you, stick to your word and add value to every conversation. Always spend less than what you have, and accept that life will never always just be up or down – go with the flow and have fun. Don’t ever speak ill of others behind their back, don’t see yourself as superior to others, and never be arrogant – no matter how wealthy you become. Don’t take on loans you can’t afford to pay back, and never be in the mind-set that problems last forever.


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