An evolving FM industry in the UAE | Macro

An evolving FM industry in the UAE

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By Bill Heath, Managing Director, Macro International

The FM Industry across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is in different stages of development, with UAE perhaps being the most advanced. Clients are generally more understanding of the value FM can bring, competition is strong, there are good training programmes and standards are rising. 

Trends and drivers

The primary drivers for the FM industry are closely linked to the scale and speed of development projects and Government regulatory changes. Such drivers do impact on FM trends in a broad sense as they can affect overall business strategy. Future trends will see greater use of technology, service delivery standards will improve and training demands will need to increase to ensure the capabilities and skills are there to meet the industry growth. Clients creating new development projects are becoming more on the need to engage with FM companies at the early stages of design to consider the best approach to the operational needs when a project is completed. 

An evolving industry

The industry in the Middle East has moved from a reactive based service to one of considering energy efficiency, being proactive in recognising the need for Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) thus looking to maintain or enhance built asset values. 

One of the main catalysts was the financial down turn when existing and new projects came to a halt in 2008/09 and the focus of attention shifted to looking after buildings and realising they were no longer a commodity but something should last longer than a few years. The advance in building technology has also meant FM companies needed to keep abreast of FM service provision and standards. 

Looking to the future

The outlook is good with significant growth being the main challenge and opportunity. Expansion of training plans, particularly at local universities, to ensure that well trained and capable resources are created to help sustain the growth, and to support the need for required skills at a local level. The understanding of FM will expand through the GCC and hopefully there will be better recognition that value should be the driver of decision making and not the lowest cost.

Parts of this article was previously published in Facilities Insight.

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