2017 fmME Power 50: 41-50

The Middle East's 50 most influential FM professionals


41. Michael Mascarenhas, Chief executive officer, Desert Group

Michael Mascarenhas has transformed Desert Group from a traditional landscaping company to an innovative and knowledge driven firm centered around living green.

Desert Group has worked with some iconic properties and developments in the region. The firm maintains the Dubai Hills Golf Course, The Dubai Design District, and more recently Parklane at Dubai South and Midtown by Deyaar.

One of the most important projects that Mascarenhas and his team is involved with is the FIFA Club World Cup that will be held in the UAE in December. Desert Group is incharge of preparing the pitches for the matches that will see the likes of Real Madrid compete in the tournament.

42. Nehme Moujaess, Managing director, TerraVerde

Nehme Moujaess continues to lead the landscaping, construction and interior design firm. Currently, TerraVerde is busy providing its services for the 2018-bound W Hotel The Palm Jumeirah where its scope of work includes the entire landscaping and outdoor arrangement of the hotel that’s located on the West Crescent.

Some of the other projects that TerraVerde has worked on include the Victory Heights, Mirdiff, Hattan — all in Dubai; along with the Marina Villas Abu Dhabi. It’s service offering includes softscape services, irrigation, pools and water features along with carpentry.

TerraVerde was founded in 2004, and has successfully built a region-wide recognition for its landscapes, garden and interior designs.

43. Youssef Abillama, Chief executive officer, MMG

The Beirut headquartered company has been busy across the Middle East. In Syria, MMG Syria has been working closely all year with Bank Bemo Saudi Fransi (BBSF) on various projects, including building their new branch in Hama City.

MMG Project Management has grown its portfolio and has attracted a number of new clients, including handing over the installation of a complete power station for the Ecole Supérieure des Affaires in Lebanon, as well as the renovation of the main cafeteria of the campus.

In Lebanon, it has won a number of contracts to manage prestigious property developments, and has worked closely with sister company MMG Lebanon on many of these. One example is the contract to manage Rive Gauche, a prime new business destination.

The Rive Gauche office tower will be one of the tallest towers in Beirut, with 30 levels, situated on 3,000 m2 of land with a total built up area of 47,000m2.

44. Saeed Alabbar, Director, AESG

Saeed Alabbar is one of the pioneers of green systems in the UAE. As the chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), the association has been quite active throughout 2017. As part of the UAE’s commitments under the COP21 climate change agreement, Alabbar led a first-of-its-kind study in the region to define near-zero energy buildings in the UAE. This report was launched in September 2017. Alabbar also launched the UAE building retrofit training programme to train professionals in the sustainable retrofit of buildings. As director of AESG, Alabbar has been busy leading its development, registering a 110% growth in the number of projects awarded over the previous 12 months, reporting a 70% growth in profits.

45. Alexis Potter, Regional operations director, Rapid Access

Rapid Access has added more than 400 new powered access machines to its regional fleet in 2017, including a range of ultra booms, spider access equipment and truck mounted powered access units. “Our regional fleet of over 4,000 machines ensures that our customers have unrivalled regional access to the right machine to every application,” says Rapid Access regional operations director Alexis Potter.

In addition to the ultra booms and a range of scissor lifts Rapid Access is also bringing in a fleet of JLG spider units including the JLG X26J crawler boom with a working height of 26m.

46. George Thomas, CEO, Epsco

George Thomas is a veteran in the regional FM sector having served with Epsco for close to two decades.

Seven years ago, Thomas was promoted to the role of CEO having previously served as the company’s vice president. He says the market is facing challenges now — mainly clients requesting for price reduction, while cost of operations are on the rise.

Epsco has eight subsidiaries under its portfolio from chemicals and asbestos to disaster restoration aqua technology. The company was founded in Dubai in 1995 by Kelvin Bruce. It provides specialist services in the field of air-duct cleaning and water purification. It has operations across 10 countries, spread across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

47. Samer Khalifeh, Chief executive officer – Kingfield Owner Association

Following a strong showing in 2016, Kingfield Owner Association management services (Kingfield OAM) expanded into new territories — Ras Al Khaimah — in 2017.

As a result, the number of units managed by Kingfield OAM has increased by 22% in 2017.

Over the next 12 months Kingfield is expecting to further strengthen its foothold in Dubai with a number of new developments coming online, while significantly increasing its presence in the other emirates in its capacity as both community managers and as master community managers.

The firm has collectively managed close to 4,000 residential and retail units covering approximately 5 million ft2 of entitlements, the company says.

48. Alida Scholtz, CEO and MD, G4S

Following her appointment as MD and CEO of G4S in 2016, Alida Scholtz has overseen the growth of G4S in recent months.

At the FM Expo 2017, the integrated facilities management service provider announced the launch of its new B2C service. 

It was also announced that the firm — synonymous with offering security services — is working to build on its reputation as an IFM service provider.

Speaking about G4S’ core business offering — security — G4S aviation solutions general manager Waqar Mohamed says there have been several advancements beginning with technology. “From a security point of view, it’s an ever-evolving sector.

“Our joint MSS — man security and electronic security — is a powerful combination when they come together,” he added.

49. Saeed Al Fahim, Chief Operating Officer, Stratum

Owner’s association management firm Stratum’s revenue has risen by $2m  in 2017, as compared to its figures in 2016.

In 2017, under long-term CEO Saeed Al Fahim, Stratum addressed the crucial aspect of collecting service levies. “Stratum implemented an advanced solution by engaging dedicated staff and implementing contact policies which includes SMS and direct calling in order to communicate with owners. The owners are explained why the funds are needed by regular issuing of newsletter updates on finances and proposed maintenance projects,” Al Fahim says.

Stratum’s team has been managing strata titles, community titles and company-titled properties for over 34 years. In 2009 Stratum established its Owners Association management services in Dubai.

50. Louise Mackay, General manager, Rentokil

Renotil’s revenues for 2015 was $7.3m and it increased to $9.2m in 2016. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey continue to remain important markets of growth for the British-founded firm.

For the future, Louise Mackay says the firm has shifted towards a technological and environmental approach in its operations. “We have adopted an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. ‘Integrated pest management’ programmes use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment,” she says.

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