The pace of development in the Middle East has been explosive and FM needs to keep pace, says Mick Dalton, chairman of BIFM.
Facilities managers today are responsible for many of the buildings and services that support businesses and FM is becoming a more mature discipline in the region.
Recently, we have seen the establishment of Global FM, a formal alliance of facilities management-related associations that aims to provide leadership in FM.
The founding members are the British Institute of Facilities Management, the Facility Management Association of Australia and the International Facility Management Association.
Facilities management encompasses multi-disciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace.
Effective facilities management, combining resources and activities, is vital to the success of any organisation.
At a corporate level, it contributes to the delivery of strategic and operational objectives.
On a day-to day level, effective facilities management provides a safe and efficient working environment, which is essential to the performance of any business whatever its size and scope.
The recent rise in the tourism and service industry in the UAE has made real estate more valuable, resulting in a property boom from 2004-2006.
Construction on a large scale has meant that Dubai is now known as one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
The property boom is largely driven by mega-projects headed by major players in the Middle East real estate sector, namely Emaar Properties, Al Nakheel and Dubai Properties.
The aspirations of the emirate are reflected in the ultra-modern architecture of Dubai that is regarded by many as truly awesome.
In Dubai the changes that have taken place over the last four years have been magnificent and unrivalled. However, FM has not developed at the same pace.
Clients today are demanding excellence in customer service, innovation and added value.
It is important for building owners and developers to consider FM at the earliest stage possible.
Lessons learned from the UK, USA and Australia have demonstrated the need to bring FM into the design phase of any new facility to enable life cycle costs to be managed effectively.
It is extremely important to ensure there is a seamless integration of designed components to enable the facilities managers to manage the facility.
The Service Charges must reflect the true costs of facilities management and the new RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) code for service charge management would be a very good method for all facilities to conform to.
Involving FM early enough in a design can ensure that facilities are in place for staff management/welfare as well as security monitoring and access management.
It also impacts on information and communication technology, waste management, cleaning and maintenance access.
Fire and life safety management, system redundancy and availability and landscape management and replacement are also areas that will benefit from the early involvement of an FM.
Only when FM is positively managed against these criteria can it be considered to be delivering world class customer service.
As the UAE continues to develop I feel it would be valuable if some of the issues outlined in this article could be taken into consideration.
This will help the UAE to lead in world class facilities management and to make the most of the world class facilities it is now building.
involving fm can ensure:
- Facilities are in place for staff management/welfare
- Security monitoring and access management
- Information and communication technology
- Waste management
- Cleaning and maintenance access and replacement strategy
- Fire and life safety management
- System redundancy and availability
- Landscape management and replacement
- Utility management and monitoring
- Customer care and management systems