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Security Conscious

In the last View Point, legislation was one of the key factors mentioned in driving the FM profession. Here, FM Middle East homes in on the security regulations implemented in May 2005 and asks: What impact has the implementation of Act 13 "Security Requirements for the Commercial Sectors in Dubai" had on FM sector?

n basic terms, Act 13 gives companies a basic standard they must adhere to when thinking about security systems and staff within their building(s).

Companies and organisations wishing to renew their trade license have had to comply with Act 13 and receive a letter of ‘no objection’ from Dubai Police before the license can be renewed.

The Act was introduced to help keep Dubai safe and secure. With the current tourism boom and appeal to work in the region ever increasing, Dubai’s Police Commander in Chief has expressed the importance of making and keeping Dubai a safe and secure environment for people to visit, work and play.

Adil Abdel-Hadi, managing director of International Electronic Security who has been appointed by Dubai Police as security systems auditors to enforce Act 13-2005, provide security consultancy services. He says the aim and objective of the act is “to assist in positioning Dubai as the leading safe and secure tourism destination and commercial hub in the world.”

He says: “Security is all about structures, people, intelligence, procedures and systems. If all of these areas are thought about, maintained, monitored and have skilled, trained and knowledgeable staff functioning throughout, the aim should be easily achievable.

“The security function which embodies people, equipment, systems and procedures should be integrated into the organisation with the minimum of obtrusiveness and interference,” explains Abdel-Hadi.

Abdel-Hadi’s company is one of the few companies in Dubai that is sanctioned by The Department of Protective Systems, Dubai Police, to carry out security systems audits to ensure that commercial premises in Dubai meet the basic law requirements.

“The level of security measures must be judged correctly to strike a happy balance in order not to impede the business from operating efficiently. Nevertheless, employees also need to be, and feel, safe and secure in order for them to be able to support the business,” says Abdel-Hadi.

In a market worth around US$500 million (AED1.8 billion) in the coming two years and with fines up to US$16,000 (AED 58,000), if companies regularly fail to comply with the Act, it’s clear to see why FMs need to fully understand it to make sure companies avoid paying the large fines.

For more information on the act, contact Adil Abdel-Hadi on +971 (0) 4 3988735 or email,

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Name: Ahmed Ali Ebrahim

Job title: Chief executive officer

Responsible for: Heading Sintegro-Gulf W.L.L.

Company: Sintegro Gulf

Core services/products: Infrastructure, utilities and facilities management provisions development and strategic facilities management

Based in: Kingdom of Bahrain

Background: MBA degree from DePaul University, Chicago (USA), MSc. from Strathclyde University (UK) and a BSc from the University of Texas at Austin (USA), both in electrical engineering. Has over 19 years of experience in the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Bahrain, recently as manager of operations and system control department. Security requirements for the commercial sectors in Dubai highlights an important issue – that the FM sector has to take seriously. In the last few years, there has been lots of change in the international environment, necessitating serious attention to security regulations and security standards.

The community in Dubai and in other GCC countries is evolving very fast, with a multitude of new commercial and residential developments, thus creating an international mix of cultures with high net-worth individuals.

This can attract many threats ranging from small-time theft to terrorists acts. Because of the interrelationship between physical and operational security measures, it is imperative for FM companies to define early in the design process what extent of operational security is planned for various threat levels.

Regulations that set such security standards are important to ensure all developments will follow similar standards.

For some FM companies, it may mean more work and cost if these issues were not already addressed properly in their plans. However, no matter how more expensive security measures are, it is incomparable to the loss or damage that the development may endure due to lack of proper security.

Attention should also be given to the need to balance the accessibility and use of facilities with the need to provide a safe and secure environment. Convenience must sometimes be compromised in order to maintain security.

Everybody, from FM Companies to owners, tenants and visitors must share in the responsibility to assure security for all members of community and properties.

Name: Andre Kievit

Title: Head of operations/director of our Middle East Operations

Company: FSI (FM Solutions) Middle East Ltd

Core delivery: Development, delivery and implementation of CAFM systems

Based in: Abu Dhabi and Dubai As with any new regulation, the market always suffers from the complications of implementation and being compliant with the regulations. Especially when the market starts interpretation the regulations themselves. However, the success of the regulation will be judged by the public.

The safer and more reliable the business, the more it will attract people. Nothing is more important then providing and maintaining trust.

This act together with others effect FM solution providers and forces us to provide our clients with tools to monitor and audit so they comply with these acts.

Customers are looking for systems with a management tool for listing the various compliancy rules and auditing the quality of their procedures to stay compliant. A number of clients asked us to add new procedures into their system and then advise them on how to monitor the various rules and regulations.

Risk management and compliancy will affect the FM industry in a similar way as the financial industry has been affected by Basel I & II.

To get all related information to the various divisions within a company about how to be compliant and more important stay compliant, the use of a CAFM is unavoidable. A CAFM system has the functionality to list all definitions and related activities of the regulations.

For instance within the system you can define the maximum number of work hours for a security guard. This information can be send to the security company, in case this is an outsourced activity, as well as to the HR-department of the company itself. Another example is the planning of the mandatory maintenance of the security equipment that you can list within the CAFM system.

CAFM systems can play a vital part in making sure companies comply with this and future Acts.

Name: Nishen Roy

Job title: CEO

Responsible for: FM Solutions & Operations

Company: Maxim Software Solutions L.L.C.

Core services/products: IT Consultancy for FM, Archibus / FM, Maximo

Based in: Abu Dhabi

Background: IT Consultancy, Project Management, Operations Management This act will have the biggest impact on the FM Sector only. The impact can be on a positive way as the top management will identify the importance of FM and will provide better security features to the tenants / clients. On the other side, the Facility Manager is to be better equipped and prepared to take more workload to face the same. Being in the consultancy and project management domain for quite long time, the only way to handle the situation is to implement a good software system which can handle the entire gamut of Facilities Management and not only maintenance management.

Normally there is a general perception that maintenance management and facilities management are one and the same and most of the software solutions support only or concentrate mainly on the maintenance management only. But when it comes to regulatory compliance and security concerns the FM needs to have a solution which can cover all the four management aspects called Property management, Facilities management, Operations management and technology management.

Seamless integration with AutoCAD is a must to visualize the entire scenario.

Let’s assume a scenario where the company wants to renew the trade license. They have to show the police that all the necessary security features are implemented.

A normal maintenance management system can provide only the activities that have happened on the properties. But a Total Infrastructure & Facilities Management (TIFM) System can provide the details of property abstracts, space utilization, projects carried out to comply with regulations, work history, cabling & telecom structure details, graphical representation from AutoCAD, furniture & equipment details etc.

All these data should be ready from the system on a click of a button. The bottom-line is by using a TIFM system; Act 13 will benefit the clients / tenants with a smile on the face of the facilities manager.

Name: Simon Precious

Job title: Director

Responsible for: The Security technology integration division of Transguard Group

Company: Transguard

Core services/products: Total FM Services

Based in: Dubai

Background: Management and marketing of security related operations and services for 16 years

The initial impact was of course financial. Many organisations were faced with significant upgrades to their existing security systems and practices to meet the Dubai Police guidelines that were implemented in May 2005.

As well as installation of hardware such as CCTV cameras and digital video recording systems, FM’s had to deal with the provision of additional infrastructure requirements for power, video cables etc, which not only have a cost impact but can significantly disrupt normal operations.

The guidelines are long overdue as many organisations were operating with sub standard security systems which did not reflect the respective organisation’s image or afford a suitable level safety and security which its patrons and staff deserve.

Unscrupulous and poorly qualified systems providers have for a long time designed and supplied security systems which do not meet operational requirements, are badly installed, inappropriate for the intended application and very poorly supported.

Transguard advocates broadening the new legislation to incorporate installation standards and practices to rid the market of such companies, increase the awareness of customers as to what performance their system should provide and how to compare their ‘apples with apples’ when considering the technical and commercial aspects of a suppliers proposal.

Many FM managers are now paying ‘again’ for systems which if they had employed the services of a professional security consultant and a suitably qualified integrator in the first instance, the impact of the new legislation would have been dramatically reduced.

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