The third edition of the MEFMA Annual Confex 2014 was at the Address Hotel in Dubai Marina from 11-12 March,
brought together the FM industry for a common goal of growth, expansion and sustainability. The two-day event which was held under the theme ‘Spotlight on the Region’s Constant Expansion’ was inaugurated by Imdaad CEO and MEFMA president Jamal Abdullah Lootah. Imdaad, a leading provider of integrated facilities management solutions in the GCC shared its sustainable growth and development strategies also.

“The FM industry plays an important role in promoting sustainability and energy conservation among members of society.
This puts the industry in an excellent position to influence other sectors to embrace sustainable technologies and
practices such as the use of more efficient and cost-effective alternative sources of energy. MEFMA’s goal is to
continuously promote this vital role by educating the public and pushing for relevant reforms and regulations across
the Middle East. MEFMA also provides research studies as significant tools in strategically accomplishing our
objectives,” said Jamal Abdullah Lootah.

 

 Interesting presentations and talks from leading FM experts got a great response from the audience. David Adam, Founder of Global Cities discussed the interplay between hosting major events and urbanization; Edward Loughrey, Senior Services Manager at Khidmah spoke about the need for innovation in the industry; and Paul Zalloua, Operations Director, United Facilities Management, Qatar discussed at length the importance of reliable and comparable data and reports in the field. Other key speakers such as Ali Al Suwaidi Vice President, Idama Facilities Management Solutions, Alia Busamra Senior EHS Compliance Officer, ENOC, Jason Ruehland, Operations Director, Emrill Services, etc. also presented their views on varied FM topics.

The event also highlighted the importance of facilities management during mega-events, the research assessed the cost set aside to manage facilities such as stadiums and considered the control of utilities, cleaning services and security.

The event featured various activities and initiatives which included networking, fundraising and holding of regional conferences and exhibitions. Industry reports were presented during seminars and focus group discussions as well. Recruitment services, accredited training programs, and educational courses also took place in the conference.

Other highlights of the event were discussions on the role of energy management, the use of technology in FM and the potential talent shortage in the industry.

Another important area of concern highlighted was the need to have a system to bring more transparency and standardization in FM industry in the MENA region. So, MEFMA is planning to launch the MEFMA Star Rating System (SRS), a set of guidelines that will seek to benchmark buildings and facilities, and push them to use the best practice for integrated FM across the region.

Speaking of the importance of best practice, Jamal Lootah added, “Benchmarking our industry and facilities against globally recognised parameters is essential to driving up the standards across our industry as a whole. MEFMA’s SRS programme will instill a culture of continuous improvement which will lead to a higher level of customer satisfaction and return on investment for building owners and investors alike.”

 

Ali Al Suwaidi, MEFMA Board Member and Vice President of Idama shared some details on the SRS programme, “Once approved by the board, the SRS Programme will be applicable to any facility across the Middle East with the aim of ensuring safety, productivity, longevity and ROI. The SRS system will also benchmark the sustainable integration of the four core components of our industry People, Process, Technology and Real Estate.”

The SRS system is expected to be finalised and implemented soon with the backing of MEFMA members and government entities.

The system is also set to play an integral part in the MEFMA Challenge Award Program, which will award those buildings and facilities that meet the criteria of the SRS system with winners expected to be announced at MEFMA’s Confex in 2015.

 
 
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