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‘GCC Facilities Management underdeveloped but steadily catching up with global market’

Projected 2.5% economic growth makes UAE ripe for FM opportunities despite oil price slump

| | Apr 15, 2016 | 10:00 am
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Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO, Imdaad

Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO, Imdaad

Dubai, UAE – Imdaad, a provider of integrated facilities, waste and energy management solutions in the GCC region, has said that the region’s facilities management (FM) sector is still immature compared to those in other parts of the world but is, nevertheless, learning well and growing at a fast pace. Despite the recent forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which projected a 2.5% economic growth due to slump in oil prices, the company said that it foresees abundant opportunities, particularly for the UAE market.

Analysing it further, the company mentioned that one of the challenges faced by the Gulf’s FM businesses is the growing emphasis on value for money while ensuring well-maintained buildings.

In connection with the concerns over fire safety amidst recent incidents involving high-profile facilities, Imdaad has advised the industry to brace itself for the business impact due to the upcoming new government regulations on fire safety, and as clients demand better measures to reduce fire and other hazards.

The results of a business confidence survey conducted by the British Institute of Facilities Management, Imdaad pointed, has shown a clear optimism about the region’s FM activities among those directly and indirectly engaged in the sector. Sharing the details, Imdaad revealed that 61% of respondents believed that their workforce would expand within 2016 to meet growing demand, with 36% of participants indicating that their FM is totally outsourced and 60% saying that more FM operations will be outsourced in the future. The UAE, it added, was also viewed as the Gulf’s most developed FM market, with Qatar and Saudi Arabia among other major growth areas.

“There is definitely a lot of room for growth within the GCC’s facilities management sector,” said Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO, Imdaad, adding, “We can expect more business from a diverse client base as the industry continues to mature and catch up with its global counterparts. FM companies operating in the UAE and other key markets can take advantage of opportunities such as the 2020 Dubai Expo to prove their expertise, engage potential clients, and reach out to a broader audience. The bottom line is that the industry needs to maintain balance between exercising caution amidst challenging market conditions and planning for growth in what is basically still an underdeveloped GCC FM landscape. The next few years will provide an important learning period for the business.”

Despite the slowdown in construction activity in the UAE this year, Imdaad said that it is confident that the market will quickly bounce back in the coming years as there are sustained business streams from buildings that have already been constructed, as well as the positive market influence of Dubai Expo 2020, which will be a vital platform for the UAE and the entire GCC to showcase its innovative solutions, services and practices for more efficient, economical and eco-friendly facilities management.

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