MEFMA Confex to highlight FM role in mega events

MEFMA: nearly 10% of operational budget for global events is for FM

A scene from MEFMA Confex 2013
A scene from MEFMA Confex 2013

The FM sector in the Middle East has a major role to play in the management of mega events like Dubai Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, industry experts say.

According to MEFMA, nearly 10% of an operational budget for a global event is dedicated to facilities management, which includes the control of utilities, cleaning services and security.

The impact global events like these has on a local market has highlighted the need for agreements to consider the mobilisation and training of a temporary workforce, as well as the installation of remote control systems.

Ali Al Suwaidi, board member, MEFMA, said: “Events coming to the Middle East will rely on facilities management to ensure the exhibits and activities run smoothly from the day they open to the public, to the day they close.”

“This is a very different dynamic and demand on the industry which typically operates behind the scenes maintaining commercial and residential units,” he said. “Now our industry is becoming consumer-facing and operating under time pressures. Therefore, we cannot replicate the two or three year agreements we have with clients for a global event like the World Cup or World Expo.”

The role of the FM sector in managing global events will be the theme of this year’s MEFMA Confex, which is scheduled to take place from 10-11 March at the Address Hotel in Dubai Marina.

Speakers at the event include David Adam, founder, Global Cities; Mohammed Al Qadi, senior director-operations, Yas Marina Circuit; Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Aziz Al-Fouzan, chairman and Dr. Zohair Bin Mohammed Al-Sarraj, vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Arab Institute of Operations and Maintenance.

Speaking about the Confex, Sinead Bridgett, executive director, MEFMA, said: “The spotlight is on the Middle East and its constant expansion, which has attracted two of the world’s biggest events.”

“For facilities management this represents a huge opportunity if it can adapt, innovate and position itself as a critical partner at the highest level of an organising committee,” Bridgett said. “Therefore we must use the time to focus on training the workforce towards international standardization and best practice.”

Other topics to be discussed at the MEFMA Confex include energy management, the use of technology in FM and the potential talent shortage in the industry.

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