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MEFMA CONFEX 2019 looks at opportunities in technology-driven FM

Strong project pipeline in region to drive demand for quality FM service, say participants

| | Mar 12, 2019 | 3:40 pm
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Jamal Lootah, President, MEFMA

Dubai, UAE, 12 March 2019: As Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA), we are looking towards the future, said Jamal Lootah, President, MEFMA, as he welcomed participants and exhibitors during the inauguration of MEFMA CONFEX 2019, held from March 10 to 12, in Dubai. Highlighting the important role the event plays as a strategic platform to promote best practices, Lootah emphasised that the theme ‘Business Intelligence & Technology-Driven Facilities Management’ was in response to the urgent need to develop FM solutions that address the region’s rapidly evolving construction landscape. MEFMA, he added, aims to support the competitiveness of the region’s FM sector, which is currently valued at about USD 37 billion.

Ribbon-cutting during the inauguration ceremony of MEFMA CONFEX 2019

Ali Al Suwaidi, Vice President, MEFMA, added that the CONFEX saw almost 50% growth in number of attendees and exhibitors, compared to the previous year, attracting the participation of government bodies, educational sectors and FM companies from the region and beyond to showcase best practice in view of operational efficiency and sustainability. “All came together to discuss the new era of FM using technology,” he said. “It is very clear now that FM is the answer for energy saving and energy management in any building.”

Ali Al Suwaidi, Vice President, MEFMA

Al Suwaidi stressed that a special feature in the 2019 edition was the counselling session that allowed visitors to speak with FM companies to get clarity on key topics, such as the implementation of CAFM systems, command and control setup for buildings, contract management and handover, digital transformation of FM operations, energy audit, fire and life safety strategy, FM best practices, and the setup of FM companies.

Mohammed Essa Bundakji, Group Managing Director, Initial Saudi Group, an exhibitor and platinum sponsor of the event, commended MEFMA’s efforts to drive FM standards and initiatives with learning institutes in the region, and highlighted the growing number of projects in the country, which is still the largest consumer market. “MEFMA is attracting more and more Saudi engagement, because the FM industry in Saudi is growing,” he said.

L to R: Jamal Lootah, President, MEFMA; Mohammed Essa Bundakji, Group Managing Director, Initial Saudi Group; Ali Al Suwaidi, Vice President, MEFMA

Al Suwaidi echoed this saying it is important to enhance quality of FM providers in view of the strong project pipeline in the region, highlighting projects from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior worth up to SAR 40 billion, all of which will require asset management professionals, and those relating to new developments in Egypt, which is emerging as a strong FM market. “The construction boom in the whole region in the last 15 years is phenomenal,” he said, “This is where we feel that it is really a sector that will grow – it will never disappear, because you have services you have to provide to buildings of different sectors, like retail, hospitality, commercial, residential and educational. You have a huge sector that need FM professionals to have the right strategy to manage their buildings.”

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