Celebrating in style

After months of build up, the facilities management Middle East Awards went off with a bang. Becca Wilson reports on the night's proceedings.

ANALYSIS, Facilities Management

After months of build up, the facilities management Middle East Awards went off with a bang. Becca Wilson reports on the night's proceedings.

On 9 June 2008, nearly 240 people from all over the Middle East gathered in the lavish Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai, to help celebrate the first facilities management Middle East Awards. And celebrate they did.

It was a night of glitz and glamour, with 15 awards being presented to 15 shining stars.

Both companies and individuals were rewarded and recognised for the parts they have played in the progressive and rapid development of the facilities management industry in the Middle East.

The judging panel were under immense pressure to sift through the 60 plus, high quality nominations that were received. And after much discussion, debate and deliberation, decisions were made and the winners were chosen.

Stea ling the show was ADNH Compass who took home three awards, while Nakheel and BK Gulf Facilities Management were each presented with two.

Thanks go to all those who helped make the night a huge success, including our sponsors: ADNH Compass, Fit-Out Middle East, Working Buildings Middle East, Shield Security Services, Gulf Landscaping, BK Gulf Facilities Management, Emcor Facilities Management and Macro.

The night's platinum sponsor, ADNH Compass, was impressed with the event and made the following comment.

"As the platinum sponsor for the inaugural facilities management Middle East Awards Ceremony, we were absolutely delighted with the fantastic support it received from all corners of the FM industry. The evening was very well planned and executed and the range of companies bidding for and receiving awards was testament to the pride people have in the industry in the Middle East.

"ADNH Compass were also fortunate to be prize winners and we are certain that this industry recognition will prove to be a great motivator to our 17,500 staff throughout the region as well as being beneficial to our business going forward.

"From the feedback we received on the night it was obvious that other companies had the same impression as we did and we look forward to and even bigger event in 2009."

And judging from the amazing feedback we've had from other sponsors and attendees about this year's awards, next year's is set to be even bigger and better. So with only 11 months left, start preparing your entries...

Functional Fit-Out - EC Harris International

Sponsor: Fit-Out Middle East exhibition

With office space prices soaring and companies forever growing, a functional and easy to maintain working environment is crucial. The judges looked for a fit-out or refurbishment that could demonstrate this.

EC Harris International's new head quarters in Burj Dubai Square mirror the company's corporate design objectives that are implemented in offices throughout the world.

The offices reflect a modern and spacious environment, with the implementation of hot-desking showing the company's desire to utilise its space effectively.

The fit-out contract was awarded to Swedish company, Kinnarps.

Winner's comment: "We feel absolutely delighted with this award. We are portraying our business through our office so as far as I'm concerned, this is a fantastic back bone to the whole office environment. I want to thank Kinnarps because they did a fantastic job doing the work," - Michael Cairney, director.

Shortlist: Dubai Investment Properties - Twin Towers, Dubai

Cleaning Service Provider of the Year - BK Gulf Facilities Management

Sponsor: Working Buildings Middle East exhibition

In a region where image is everything, cleaning is high on the agenda. Judges looked for innovative and cost effective cleaning solutions.

BK Gulf Facilities Management showed a commitment to the industry and its impressive client list and ability to clean areas like offices and retail stores, to labour accommodation and apartments, impressed the judges.

What also stood out, was its dedication to sustainable cleaning by using environmentally-friendly products.

Winner's comment: Rehan Malik, software services manager - "It's amazing, we never thought what we were doing would be appreciated like it has done tonight. I'd like to thanks all the FM team at BK Gulf and the organisers of the facilities management Middle East Awards.

"This award will not only help me being the manager of my team, but it will also help my team to understand the great work that they have been doing over the past year."

Shortlist: Able FM

Security Service Provider of the Year - Gulf Fidelity Security Services

Sponsor: Shield Security Services

Traditionally known as "watchman", security guards play a vital role in the safety and security of a company's assets. Whether these be a building, product or person.

Evidence of legislative compliance, excellent and detailed guarding procedures and dedicated staff development was required in entries and Gulf Fidelity Security Services indicated all three and more.

The company originated in South Africa and expanded into the Middle East in December 2006. It focuses exclusively on providing guarding services and currently employs over 500 guards throughout the UAE.

Winner's comment: "This award certainly establishes a benchmark for other participants and can only lead to enriching the security industry and ensuring that compliance with legal requirements and service excellence will become the norm rather than the exception.

We are extremely pleased to have received this award so early in our efforts to distinguish ourselves in the market as a service provider with quality service delivery," - Pieter Botha, managing director



BK Gulf Facilities Management

Landscaping Contractor of the Year - TerraVerde

Sponsor: Gulf Landscaping exhibition

In a region that suffers from a lack of natural water and harsh weather conditions, it could be argued that landscaping has never looked so aesthetically pleasing.

The conservation of natural resources was a key entry criteria and judges also looked for cost-effective, sustainable and good looking landscapes.

TerraVerde's passion to "ensure a sustainable legacy for generations to come" was a bold statement. But it was also a backed up statement with the company implementing organic solutions wherever possible.

Services range from soft and hard scaping, to irrigation and water features, to plantation and decking maintenance.

Winner's comment: "I'm happy to share this with all the people who have supported TerraVerde. Our strategy is to make sure we take care of the environment and we work hard to ensure this and everything related to making the world go green, happens. Thank you for your support," - Nehme J Moujaess, managing director

Shortlist: Desert Group

Integrated Service Provider of the Year - ADNH Compass

Managing an integrated package requires careful planning, strategic thinking and flexibility, along with other qualities.

With many international and local companies now offering a high-level integrated service delivery model, this category received many entries and deciding a shortlist and winner proved a difficult task.

ADNH Compass detailed a specific project in Qatar, where it provides an integrated solution to Shell's worker's camp and has since extended the contract to include further FM services.

Judges were impressed with the range of services offered and the company's commitment to introducing recreational facilities within the camp.

Winner's comment: "I'm really pleased for my team in Qatar who do a fantastic job. This award is great recognition for them. Awards like this helps to raise the profile of the industry. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and it gives more attention to the detail required to get the integrated management solution ready and put it in a well packaged situation for the client," - Alan Morgan-George, CEO


BK Gulf Facilities Management

Bahwan Engineering

MEP Service Provider of the Year - Septech Emirates

Sponsor: MEP Middle East magazine

Three of the most fundamental areas to a building's operations are mechanical, electrical and plumbing.

The growth of the industry has been phenomenal and in the Middle East's hot and humid climate, the successful management of these three areas is crucial.

Septech has 12 years experience in the UAE and was commended for its positive and encouraging client feedback.

The specialist MEP service provider has worked on some of the most prestigious and unique projects in the Middle East, including Atlantis the Palm and the signature Els Club in Dubai Sports City.

Winner's comment: "I'm immensely proud of Septech Emirates winning this award. This is the first time we've received such an award from ITP and I think it's fair to say the first one is always the best one. With regards to our efforts over the year, this is in truth, an accolade and it's nice to be recognised following on from all the efforts and successes we have had.

"Within the peer group, this is essentially a pat on the back from our peers in the industry and for a recognised publication such as facilities management Middle East, it goes a long way to improving and underwriting our credibility within the industry," - Iwan Baxter Hughes, group projects director



BK Gulf Facilities Management

Training and Development Award - International College of Engineering & Management, Oman

Sponsor: BK Gulf Facilities Management

The skills shortage is affecting many professions within the Middle East and the facilities management industry is no exception.

With the majority of the industry coming from oversees, the FM population is very transient creating the need for the local community to be encouraged into the profession. And if the sector is to continue to progress and evolve, new blood
will be required to drive the profession forward.

The International College of Engineering & Management was a clear winner in this category.

Judges noted the organisation's commitment to the industry by citing just how long its FM degree had been running, considering the industry is still relatively young.

Being the first education establishment to offer a facilities management degree, since 2003 over 50 students have graduated with a BSc in Facilities Management and another 33 are currently studying the course.

Winner's comment: "This is absolutely fantastic, it is a great honour to receive such an award. For us as an education provider in Oman, it's a great tribute.

At the moment, FM is not yet fully understood in the Middle East so we're trying to provide graduate level education and also influence young people, their parents and teachers that FM is a worthwhile profession," - Professor Norman Burrow, principal and dean

Shortlist: ADNH Compass

Customer Service Excellence Award - ADNH Compass

Sponsor: Emcor Facilities Management

Facilities management is all about delivering excellent customer service. With Dubai in particular priding itself on this quality, this accolade provides a platform for both in-house and outsourced teams to shine.

ADNH Compass provided judges with evidence including excellent client relationships, the creation of innovative initiatives that have helped keep service levels high and the use and adherence to service level agreements.

Winner's comment: "This award means a lot to us. It's an incentive which will make us strive more to work harder and get more awards. I would like to thank facilities management Middle East, everybody who made this possible," - Abd Al Aziz Osman, managing director



BK Gulf Facilities Management

Health & Safety Initiative, Drydocks World - Dubai

Now at the forefront of many company's agendas, health and safety has fast become a controversial talking point in the construction world.

Drydocks World - Dubai, has a stringent and detailed H&S procedure with policies in place to deal with every eventuality.

Its detailed entry featured everything from an occupational H&S at work dvd and information on its Sword of Honour accolades awarded by the British Safety Council, to policy statements and evidence of internationally recognised certifications (for example, OHSAS), to risk assessment documents and HSE inspection lists.

Winner's comment: "I am very proud of this achievement with facilities management Middle East magazine, so thank you very much. Drydocks World Dubai has won numerous awards over the years, including the Sword of Honour from the British Safety Council for the last four years.

"This award is another award to show that our management systems have been recognised by the industry and that we actually care about health and safety being our highest priority," Tony Potter, group health and safety manager.


Al Noor Hospital, Abu Dhabi

ADNH Compass

Sustainable Initiative, Nakheel, Palm Canal Towers

Sponsor: Village Life, ADNH Compass's accommodation services brand

Initially, sustainability was the latest buzz word to hit the development scene, but sustainable building has now become a legal reality in certain parts of the Middle East.

And it's not just developers and facilities management companies going green, product suppliers are also promoting their environmentally-friendly brands.

Nakheel's Palm Canal Towers impressed the panel with the efforts made going for gold, with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

It is one of the first high-rise developments in Madinat Al Arab district and will comprise of six mixed-use towers.

Winner's comment: "We're grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for coming up with the green buildings initiative. We've grasped it and driven it forward here to achieve something which is worthwhile.

"The developments are impressive and some of the savings on energy consumption that we've managed to achieve through the design, have been excellent and the benefits will derive from those that occupy the building in the future.

"Awards like these bring a profile to the business and it sets us apart from other people. We like to think we're leaders in the field and we're always striving to be better, so the recognition of that is important for the team and people within our organisation, so they keep aspiring to continue to do well," - Michael Izzi, senior project manager.


Emcor Facilities Management

Farnek Avireal

Developer's Commitment to Efficient Buildings - Dheeraj & East Coast

Sponsor: Macro

Efficient and cost-effective building operation starts with the developer before the project has been designed. Involving some form of facilities management at this stage can help secure assets to ensure they last their lifecycle, cut operational costs and provide an efficient and sustainable development to the end-user, without jeopardising customer service.

While many developers claim they are doing just this, the good old grape vine tells a different story with some developers just paying the concept lip service.

But Dheeraj & East Coast clearly paid attention and as a result, formed a strategic partnership with Emcor Facilities Services to ensure FM is thought about before, during and after construction.

Winner's comment: "It felt great to win this award. We didn't think we were going to win it because we are a new developer and there are a lot of other developers in the market. But we think about FM before the buildings are designed and I think that is a great thing. This awards shows our commitment to developing efficient buildings," - Sailesh Jatania, chief finance officer

Young FM of the Year - Bradley Robbins, Nakheel

Sponsor: ADNH Compass

Bradley Robbins is responsible for one of Dubai's most prestigious landmarks, The Palm Jumeirah.

The responsibility he has embraced shone through in his entry, with inclusions like holding regular FM team-building events and introducing more residential services like ATMs and DVD rentals, showing he goes that extra mile to ensure his staff are kept motivated and his customer's living experience is continually improving.

He lead and directly managed the initial set up and start up of the FM operations on the Palm and as the development continues to grow, so will Bradley's FM scope.

Winner's comment: "There were some big firms shortlisted for the award and so I was very excited when my name was announced. I lead a big team and it's a team effort to operate the Palm Jumeirah," - Bradley Robbins, facilities manager


Laxman Shah, Design House FZA, Gargash Group

Mohamaad Jawed Khan, Idama

FM Employee of the Year - Shaji P Sudhakaran

Sponsor: facilities management Middle East

This award is open to the entire FM industry. From security guards and cleaners to people in charge of a specific FM area.

The winner of this award showed his potential from day one. In his first contract, he reviewed the planned preventative maintenance schedule and managed to free up a four man maintenance team that could be deployed elsewhere.

He has had two promotions since starting with his company is March 2007 and is now the hard services manager.

His portfolio includes: Atlantis, The Palm; City Towers, CUC 3 and 5, ExecuJet and the National Bank of Dubai.

Winner's comment: "I was so shocked when they read out my name. It felt nice. I know this award will enhance my energy for the job and drive me to push myself further," Shaji P Sudhakaran, facilities manager


Mohamaad Jawed Khan, Idama

Shadab Ahmed, Dubai Investment Properties

FM Consultant of the Year - Macro

The move to more strategic and sophisticated FM has considerably developed over the past two years, with more developers employing consultants during the design stage.

Judges looked for an array of evidence, including cost savings, best practice and FM strategy. The winner showed all these and more and impressed the panel with numerous case studies.

Officially, the company opened its office in Dubai on 1 April 2008 but it has been working in the region since 2003 with its first project being Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Winner's comment: "This is a big surprise! We're new kids on the block over here, we've been around for years but we were up against stiff competition and it feels good we won. It demonstrates we are an organisation that is innovative and creative and can give clients the solutions they want," - Bill Heath, managing director




Facilities Manager of the Year - Patrick Frayne, ADNH Compass

Sponsor: Working Buildings Middle East exhibition

Patrick's passion, enthusiasm and commitment to his work, was reflected in his entry, his personality and his drive to succeed.

He has made a phenomenal impact at Yas Island Worker's Community by implementing a community-based feel to the worker's living conditions. He is respected and loved by both staff and residents and his hands-on approach has resulted in a happier and more productive workforce.

The implementation of sports days and cultural evenings has been positively welcomed by workers and the ‘Chowpatti' teashop is a social hub for the workers.

Winner's comment: "To get an award like this is not really for me, it's for the guys I work with and that's where it's going to go. I'm shocked, I wasn't expecting it.

"This is recognition for Village Life, its strategy and showing that it works. We can use it to help market what we've done, which is a great thing," - Patrick Frayne, project manager.


Chamila Sampath Soorige, BK Gulf Facilities Management

Bradley Robbins, Nakheel

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