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Increase in development projects drives demand for FM services, says MEFMA President

Confex to focus on integrated and collaborative approach among stakeholders to introduce new standards, organisers say

| | Apr 30, 2018 | 5:47 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 30 April 2018: The increasing number of development projects in the GCC region has led to a growing demand for modern Facilities Management (FM) services, said Jamal Abdulla Lootah, President, MEFMA, at the opening of MEFMA Confex Dubai, which was held from April 29 to 30. This year’s conference, he said, is organised under the theme ‘Sustainable FM industry through creative value-based innovations’. “The aim for this year’s event is to help drum up more awareness on the many ways we can strengthen the industry,” Lootah said, “urging the concerned government authorities and organisations to develop and introduce new standards, benchmarks, legislation and guidelines.” The two-day conference, Lootah said, will explore the vital role FM plays in helping build the UAE economy and will discuss solutions to address industry challenges. The exhibition, he emphasised, is also showcasing the latest products and services in the FM market. The opening of the event also featured a strategic corporate membership MOU signing between MEFMA and Etisalat Facilities Management.

Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President – Commercial Services, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, spoke on the future of FM in the context of the latest innovative technologies, which, he said, will carry the FM industry forward in the years to come. “No doubt,” Nasib said, “the event has taken place in such a dynamic city that has a huge potential for FM businesses and practices.” Nasib commended the significant participation of the youth which, he said, is vital because they are “the future of the country”, encouraging participants to take advantage of the educational dialogue that will take place during the course of the event. Nasib also touched on the huge potential for infrastructure spending in light of Expo 2020.

Sultan Al Khuraissi, General Manager Operations & Maintenance, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlighted the importance of the FM industry and the Royal Commission’s initiatives, which includes renewable and energy management and smart systems. Al Khuraissi also touched on the strategic partnership with MEFMA, since the 2017 MoU signing between the two entities, stressing the most vital aspect of which is the exchange of information and participation and hosting of FM-related events. “We, the Royal Commission,” he said, “recognise and appreciate efforts of MEFMA as a professional society that provides a lot of information and training to the industry.”

When asked what the diverse agenda of the Confex hopes to accomplish, Lootah said, “Awareness. This is the most important thing,” he stressed, “the people should understand what they are talking about. I don’t want the client to keep asking and be confused about where to go.” Clients and government representatives, he said, must engage in a dialogue to “see what’s happening in Facilities Management”.

Ali Al Jassim, CEO, Etihad Energy Services (Etihad ESCO) also spoke on the importance of an integrated approach at the beginning of projects, especially in view of energy-saving goals. “The design of a building has implications on the energy consumption,” he said, “if you ignore it, your energy bill can become high, if you look at it, it could cost you high at the beginning, but you will save throughout.” Collaboration, Al Jassim said, is the future and vital in developing a holistic approach towards design, facilities management and energy saving.

Hannah Jo Uy is Features Writer at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com


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