2016 fmME Power 50 21-30

The Middle East 50 most influential FM professionals


21. Maen Saddeq, Chief executive officer – MAB FM

MAB Facilities Management (MAB FM) marked its return to the limelight after being awarded key contracts by large property owners – most notably in the UAE – during the second half of 2016.

In August, the company announced it has been awarded an FM services contract for the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

The five-year deal is the largest that MAB FM has won in its history.

The scope of TCA Abu Dhabi’s contract includes the provision of management and supervision; fire and life safety; security; technical maintenance; general administration; cleaning; and visitor reception services. MAB FM will also handle Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ICT systems.

The contract followed an announcement by MAB FM during the same month confirming it had received four FM contracts from Dubai’s Emaar Properties in the first quarter of 2016.

Remarking on MAB FM’s Emaar portfolio, CEO Maen Saddeq said: “We shall go above and beyond to ensure that we deliver optimum results within the specified period of the [contracts].”

22. Waleed Al Sayegh, Chief executive officer – Sharjah Asset Management

While the FM industry in Sharjah is considered to be quieter than its counterparts in the UAE, Waleed Al Sayegh looks set to change the trend.

Al Sayegh, CEO of Sharjah Asset Management (SAM) and general director of Sharjah Finance Department, believes the long-term plans laid out by the emirate’s government will help his company overcome the economic hurdles that are likely to emerge next year.

“Any company has its challenges – from oil prices to currency changes,” Al Sayegh tells fmME. “However, we are well equipped as the Sharjah government looks out for long-term strategies.”

SAM is a government entity that was established in 2008 as an investment arm of Government of Sharjah, within the Sharjah Finance Department.

In 2012, the department expanded to include investment, asset management, and property operations, with Al Sayegh taking over the reins two years ago.

SAM’s portfolio includes projects such as food market Souq Al Jubail, Al Saja’a Industrial Oasis, and Souq Al Haraj.

This October, SAM entered a joint venture with Apleona (formerly known as Bilfinger FM) that will see the establishment of a Sharjah-based TFM service provider which has already bagged two contracts worth $5.4m (AED20m).

23. Roohullah Ramzan, Chief executive officer – MJB Group

Roohullah Ramzan, CEO of MJB Group has quietly charted the growth of the UAE-headquartered company’s FM and related services divisions over the years. Security, cleaning, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services are among the most important verticals for MJB Group.

If regional real estate trends hint at a market recovery in 2017 on the back of stable crude values, then services like those listed above could find greater demand in the region – for MJB Group, this can only mean good news.

The company currently employs 40 qualified engineers and operators, with its security, cleaning, and MEP workforce adding up to 1,600 in 2016. Next year’s employee training and development initiatives are set to cover modules such as best practices, standards, and procedures; protection and safety; and ergonomics.

The company’s portfolio includes contracts with Louis Vuitton; Sharp; Al Kabayal Centre; Stratum Owners Management; and Sobha Developers; and properties such as The Mall in Dubai.

Ramzan, now in his fifth year as the company’s CEO, says FM services will continue to dominate MJB Group’s growth opportunities in 2017.

“Accommodation for the labour category [employees could be a business challenge in 2017] due to price variations in the market,” he adds.

24. Alain El Tawil, Managing partner – Grako

Rope access cleaning specialist Grako has had its hands full in 2016, despite a relative downturn in property completions and handovers through the year.

In the last 12 months, Grako’s services have been deployed on some of the UAE’s tallest buildings under contracts with clients such as Emaar Properties for Burj Khalifa and Emaar Square buildings 1-4; Khidmah for Sun & Sky Towers in Abu Dhabi; and Majid Al Futtaim for its retail portfolio that includes Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, and Mirdiff City Centre. Grako will continue to work on these contracts in 2017, with its services also contracted for properties such as Dubai Opera and Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre’s mall and souq.

Managing partner Alain El Tawil says Grako’s growth opportunities next year will come from markets such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He calls Grako’s 467-strong workforce the company’s “backbone”, adding that in-house CSR initiatives are geared towards employee development.

Increased awareness about high health, safety, and environment (HSE) standards will boost Grako’s market reputation, he asserts: “Clients are realising the importance of HSE procedures, which will compel them to hire specialists like us.

“Cleaning professionals will be held to higher standards in the future, especially given the opportunities that Dubai Expo 2020 will bring,” El Tawil adds.

25. Stephen Thomas, Director and general manager – Multiplex Services

Stephen Thomas is a qualified mechanical engineer and has more than 30 years’ experience of working in the global building services and FM sectors. His specialisms include maintenance, design, construction, and project management of building service installations and facilities operations.

Thomas established Multiplex Services in the Middle East in Q4 2007, and continues to be responsible for the company’s delivery of FM contracts throughout the region. Brookfield Multiplex rebranded to its current name this August.

Prior to joining Multiplex Services, Thomas worked in senior management roles that include director of operations at Multiplex Facilities Management, area manager at Defence Maintenance Management, and regional service manager and project manager at Honeywell.

26. Nigel Hall, General manager – QBG Facilities Management

Nigel Hall inherited a busy pipeline of projects when he took over as general manager of QBG Facilities Management (QBG FM) in Q4 2016.

This May, QBG FM inked four agreements – within a span of eight months – with renowned retail brands in Oman. The first three successive contracts were awarded to QBG FM by the Sultanate’s high-density shopping centres, namely Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat Grand Mall, and the refurbished Oasis Mall.

QBG FM was contracted to provide hard FM, soft FM, technical, and consultancy services under the scope of these contracts.

The fourth agreement was signed by QGB FM with the InterContinental Hotel Muscat to provide parking assistance solutions.

27. Sanjay Bhatia, General manager – Concordia DMCC

Sanjay Bhatia is the newly appointed general manager of Concordia DMCC. Prior to this appointment in August 2016, Bhatia was director for FM and outsourcing (international operations and MENA region) at EFS Facilities Services.

Concordia employs more than 2,000 people that are tasked with managing the company’s portfolio of more than 185ha (20,000,000 sqf) of residential and commercial property.

In 2015, Concordia implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that combines the company’s HR and finance platforms, and also introduced a mobile app – called Margaret – to manage parking services. The year saw notable additions to Concordia’s portfolio, including three properties under the Omniyat brand.

28. Mohammad A. Khamis, General manager – Deyaar Facilities Management

Eng Mohammed AbdulKarim Khamis is the general manager of Deyaar Facilities Management (DFM), a company spun off by Dubai property investment firm, Deyaar Development this August.

At 31, Khamis could well be among one of the Middle East’s youngest FM leaders. Khamis joined Deyaar Development in September 2009, when he started off in the company’s FM division, and has been with the company ever since. Khamis studied civil engineering at the UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology, and also holds an e-MBA degree from the university.

Khamis says one of DFM’s prerogatives is to maintain “a level of trust” regarding its reputation in the market. In its dealings with Deyaar Development, DFM achieves this by following an established chain of project procurement, which includes bidding on tenders.

DFM’s contract models offer flexibility that ensures customer requirements are catered to in a precise fashion. The company relies on three divisions to drive income – maintenance, total FM (TFM), and fit-out. Khamis says the maintenance division attends customer calls on a reactive basis, whereas TFM works – including hard, soft, and specialised FM services – are implemented as per contract needs.

29. Eng Ansari, Chief executive officer – Adeeb Group

Company CEO Eng Ansari and his team at Adeeb Group have been busy this year. The company has worked on contracts such as complete FM services for the 50-storey Sama Tower; MEP and general maintenance works for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s 30-storey headquarters; and civil and electromechanical maintenance works at Al Aryam and Silver Wave towers in Abu Dhabi in 2016.

Adeeb Group’s portfolio also included a contract it won in 2015 to provide air-conditioning maintenance and annual elevator maintenance services to all National Bank of Abu Dhabi branches across the UAE. Completed contracts include a fit-out job comprising civil and MEP works at Fujairah’s Geant Hypermarket, retrofit works at New York University Abu Dhabi, and MEP works at Mushrif Mall’s Pacman Zone.

Contracts won by Adeeb in 2016 included a deal to supply, install, and replace chillers at Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi; a refurbishment job for the guest rooms, corridors, and lift lobbies at Dubai’s Shangri-La Hotel; and a deal to maintain fire alarms, fire-fighting equipment, and emergency and egress lighting systems at St Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi.

Adeeb Group’s revenue for the 2015 financial year was $20.5m (AED75.2m), and Eng Ansari expects this figure to be between $25m and $30m (AED91.8m and AED110.2m) by the end of the company’s 2016 fiscal year, with up to 82% this projection already secured.

The year has also seen Adeeb Group’s workforce increase across all organisational levels. Qualified engineers and operators increased by 260 on a YoY basis, whilst labourers grew to 360 in 2016 from 268 in 2015. The company’s training budget for 2017 is estimated to be in the range of $40,000-$50,000 (AED147,918-AED183,647).

Eng Ansari says that while the UAE will remain Adeeb Group’s key focus market, expansion plans for Saudi Arabia and Qatar could be charted in the future, and proposals to work in these countries – as well as Jordan, the Philippines, and India – would also be under consideration.

The CEO lists the UAE’s rapid and steady development of master-planned communities as one of Adeeb Group’s biggest opportunities over the next 12 months, adding technology will also boost the company’s operations.

He continues: “There are enormous opportunities [to effect] energy savings and sustainability, and develop green buildings, modern technologies, mobile apps, and so on. The FM market is expected to recover with an upturn in the global economy and a growing emphasis on modernisation of office spaces.”

Listing industry hurdles firms might have to contend with in 2017, Eng Ansari adds: “Legislations regarding energy management and cost control will be key market changes to cope with. That clients consistently change FM contractors instead of sticking to long-term contracts will also pose a big challenge.”

30. Suneesh Kurup, Executive director – Power Group

Suneesh Kurup has been busy driving Power Group to greater heights this year. Between January and November 2016, the company won new contracts and renewals with developers such as Dubai Silicon Oasis, Sofitel, First Gulf Properties, Damac, Fly Dubai, Landmark Group, and Vox Cinemas.

The company’s employee development initiatives include scaffolding, cradle, and rope access training and certification; fire safety and first aid training; janitorial cleaning equipment operations; and the IMS (ISO 9001, 14001, 50001, and OHSAS 18001) Awareness and International Audit Training programme. Up to $108,904 (AED400,000) has been budgeted for training initiatives in the year to come.

With 3,876 labourers, 123 qualified operators and engineers, and 251 women in its workforce, Kurup is confident that Power Group is on track to achieve big wins in the regional FM sector, especially through residential and mixed-use facilities: “The UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar are the three most important Middle Eastern markets for the company.

“Constraints on cash flow and the intrusion of unprofessional companies could be major challenges [to contend with in 2017],” he adds.

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