5 minutes with ... Ali Al Suwaidi
MEFMA board member answers questions about his role in the industry
0.00 Who are you and what does your role involve?
I am Ali Al Suwaidi and I am a board member of the Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA). My role with this organisation, along with my fellow board members, is to represent, develop and promote the facilities management industry in the Middle East region. I have 12 years of experience in facility management in the UAE.
1.05 Where do you see the FM industry in five years?
I would like to see it continue along its path of professionalism. I would like to see a more realistic scope of work outlined for each contract, which also means an improvement in the tendering/re-tendering of projects. I’d also like to see FM brought into the decision-making process earlier, so that effective BMS are integrated into a building’s operation. I hope there will be transparency highlighting best practice and cowboys who ignore industry standards.
1.57 What is MEFMA working on right now?
As ever we are working extremely hard to raise awareness of our industry across the Middle East. With this in mind, on October 8, 2012 we will be holding our inaugural awareness conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We also hosted another conference in Qatar on October 3, 2012.
MEFMA is also providing accredited training courses for members and non-members. Over the next few months we will be providing courses in a variety of subjects ranging from the Foundation in FM to Effective Customer Service.
2.38 What do you love the most about your job?
The things most I enjoy include meeting new people and learning about various facilities and buildings, which translate into successful facilities management stories.
3.42 What is the most challenging thing about your job?
At MEFMA, the most challenging aspect is that FM companies are increasingly facing the problem of low awareness. International firms who operate out of Qatar, for example, provide a strong customer base, but many end-user sectors have still not opened up to the concept of outsourcing FM services. Spreading awareness about the need for outsourcing to professionals is gradually gaining importance and is expected to bring in an upward trend in the business.
4.30 What do you like to do in your spare time?
As one of the founding board members of MEFMA, I enjoy networking , learning, sharing my FM experience and best practices. I also like to spend time with family, travel to different countries and read management and facilities management books.