Smart FM industry vital to keep up with developments across Dubai
A smart Facilities Management (FM) industry is a must to keep up with the development taking place across Dubai and the UAE, experts said at the inaugural edition of the Smart Facilities Management (SFM 2021) event on Tuesday.
The two-day event brings together a number of experts and officials, who will highlight the recent trends, challenges, and opportunities of the FM industry, in order to develop sustainable FM strategies for the future. Experts will also highlight the need to modernize FM operations specifically with new, readily available technologies and tools.
Speaking in a panel session at the event, industry professionals noted that buildings and their infrastructure have become increasingly more complex and sophisticated in design, and, as a result, the UAE’s FM industry has had to adapt to meet the needs of the sector. Many also pointed out there has been a recent shift, with many global FM players looking to Dubai as a benchmark in international best practices.
Looking back at the evolution of the FM industry over the past 20 years in Dubai, Said ElHaouasli, vice president of Facilities Management – LOAMS, described the market as being more “maintenance oriented” around 20 years ago. He explained that starting from 2001, the management of specialized businesses started to develop, which accelerated change in the industry.
Khaldun Aburok, director of Business Development at Farnek Services, agreed with the observation and added that Dubai have evolved to became a cultural hub, with people from all over the world choosing the city as a place to call their home.
“The FM industry has to be as innovative as the planned vision of Dubai that the wise leadership of the city envisioned,” he said. “Today, we have seen a lot of technology come into the market, and a smart FM industry is a must to keep up with the rapid urban development taking place in Dubai.”
Experts also discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the industry, especially in light of the growing concerns about costs. They noted that due to the pandemic, the need for industrial transformation has been elevated. Fueled by automation and technology, the facilities management industry has to continue to transform to meet present and upcoming challenges.
Reports have found that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market for facilities management was estimated at $1.4 trillion in 2020, and is projected to reach a revised size of $3 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11.3 per cent between 2020 and 2027. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of $522.6 billion by the year 2027, trailing a CAGR of 10.8 per cent over the analysis period 2020 to 2027.
With $772 billion worth of upcoming and ongoing construction projects in the UAE, officials say that the FM industry has a bright growth outlook.
Tarek Nizameddin, senior executive director of Ejadah Asset Management Group, says that the FM industry will play a key role in the future of Dubai, especially in light of the recent launched Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan maps out a comprehensive future map for sustainable urban development in the city. The people-centric plan focuses on reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination by providing a wide diversity of lifestyle and investment opportunities for citizens, residents and visitors over the next 20 years.
“Previously, the focus was on reactive or emergency maintenance,” he said. “It took a long time to introduce the FM concept to clients. We had to explain to them the added value of the integration between the services and the impact on the lifecycle. However, Dubai today is a pioneer in FM regionally, and globally to a certain extent, and this is due to its experiences over the past 20 years.”
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