MEFMA: Saudi’s $20bn FM sector an ‘emerging giant’

MEFMA recently held a workshop and networking event in Riyadh, during which its members discussed the growth opportunities for regional FM players looking to expand their services in Saudi

Jamal Abdullah Lootah is the president of MEFMA [image: MEFMA].
Jamal Abdullah Lootah is the president of MEFMA [image: MEFMA].

Saudi Arabia holds the largest share in the Gulf’s facilities management (FM)-related spending, accounting for about 55% of the total expenditure, new industry data has revealed. 

According to a report released by the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA), although Saudi’s FM market is currently valued at $20bn, it is still considered to be developing in terms of proportion to the country’s building infrastructure development, and is dependent on manpower supply services and low-quality building maintenance.

MEFMA, in its report titled “FM in Saudi Arabia – an Emerging Giant”, also estimated that under one-third of the FM demand in the country mainly comes from the public sector, which is said to be relying heavily on outsourced services. 

Further highlighting the kingdom’s FM sector, MEFMA recently held a workshop and networking event in Riyadh, during which its members discussed the growth opportunities for regional FM players looking to expand their services in Saudi.

The workshop was led by Ali Al Suwaidi, a member of the MEFMA Board of Directors, and touched on various FM concerns under the theme ‘Handover in Mega-Projects’. 

Jamal Abdullah Lootah, president of MEFMA, commented: “Saudi Arabia’s FM sector is rapidly developing as more properties go online in the kingdom. The regional industry has observed the different Saudi market dynamics, with the public sector relying heavily on outsourcing services, while the private sector tends to experiment with in-house management using traditional manpower services, rather than procuring fully integrated FM solutions. 

“We are confident the time is ripe for established regional FM providers to further study the trends in the country.”

MEFMA pointed out that GCC-based FM clients in recent years have begun adopting international trends, which favour longer contracts with their FM providers, as well as the demand to include more defined output-based targets within their contracts. These trends are reportedly more visible in established markets, such as Dubai, and are increasingly being adopted in Abu Dhabi and Doha. 

The association attributed such changes to technological development, describing it as the key enabler, particularly its impact on productivity, service quality, and transparency.

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